asked the Minister of Munitions whether opportunity will be given the farmers to purchase, under the most favourable conditions, lorries, tractors, and machinery and implements generally, not now needed by the authorities but which are useful for farming operations?
Stores of the kind referred to are being sold after full advertisement in the local press. Farmers have, therefore, every opportunity of knowing what goods are to be disposed of. No preference can be given to any class of individuals in regard to price.
Will the hon. Gentleman take steps to advise that when lorries are to be sold they will not be put up in lots of fifty and upwards, but will be put up singly, so that individuals will have an opportunity of bidding for them, instead of dealers being forced to bid for the whole, leaving the individual out?
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Munitions if he will give details of any sales of State property, whether of works, plant, or materials, which have been made by his Department since hostilities ceased, with dates, prices, and all important relevant particulars, including the names of the selling agents, whether officials of the Ministry or otherwise?
The duty of disposing of surplus Government property was placed upon the Ministry of Munitions by the War Cabinet on 15th November last, but the actual transfer of functions has only been completed during the past few days. A disposal organisation has now been set up, particulars of which were given in the Press on the 10th instant. In the circumstances I am not yet in a position to give precise answers to my hon. Friend's questions.
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Munitions if he can state that no further sales of any State property whatsoever in the control of the Ministry of Munitions will be made except by public auction; and if he will give full particulars of any sales which have so far been made, giving the conditions of the sales, names of purchasers, the price obtained, ete.?
Whilst the greater part of the surplus Government property will be sold by public auction, I think it would be undesirable to lay down a rule that no other form of sale may be adopted. For reason stated in answer to question No. 86, I am not yet in a position to give the detailed information asked for by my hon. Friend.
asked how many of the national factories the Government has decided to sell; what these factories cost to build and equip; whether it is proposed to put them up to public auction or to dispose of them privately; whether officials or ex-officials of the Ministry will be allowed to purchase them; and whether a reserve price will be set upon each of them bearing some relation to the cost of construction and equipment?
Up to the present, thirteen national factories have been advertised as available for disposal. The cost of the sites, buildings, and equipment of these factories is, approximately, £2,940,000. No factory will be disposed of, except after full advertisement, but the decision whether the sale shall be by public auction, tender, or private treaty must depend on the circumstances of each case. No national factory will be sold to any official or ex-official of the Ministry, except after the sale has been publicly advertised and when the price offered is the highest. Where the property is sold by public auction, a reserve price will be fixed, but the cost of construction and equipment does not necessarily have any relation to the present value.