Oral Answers to Questions — Government Orders (North Eastern Area).

– in the House of Commons on 15th June 1936.

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Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Jarrow

asked the First Commissioner of Works what proportion of all orders placed by his Department since October, 1934, were allocated to firms in the North-Eastern area; and what steps are being taken to increase the proportion?

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Lloyd Mr Geoffrey Lloyd , Birmingham, Ladywood

I regret that I cannot say without further inquiry what proportion of the orders for coal were placed with firms in the North-Eastern area. As regards other goods, the proportion of direct orders given by the Office of Works during the period mentioned, was approximately 1 per cent. As regards the second part of the question, it is the practice, other things being equal, to give preference in the allocation of contracts to tenders received from firms in the Special Areas: in addition, special steps have been taken to bring contracts open to tender to the notice of firms in these areas.

Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Jarrow

As it is of no use asking the Under-Secretary for the Home Department questions on this matter, may I ask the Prime Minister whether the Cabinet, in view of the serious condition of employment in the North-Eastern area, are impressing upon the purchasing Departments the necessity, where other things are equal, of considering the things that are not equal, that is to say, the high proportion of unemployment in this area? The Prime Minister ought to reply to this question.

Photo of Mr Stanley Baldwin Mr Stanley Baldwin , Bewdley

I ought to get notice of these questions.

Photo of Sir Nicholas Grattan-Doyle Sir Nicholas Grattan-Doyle , Newcastle upon Tyne North

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he has considered the desirability of giving a larger proportion of orders to the Tyne?

Photo of Mr Kenneth Lindsay Mr Kenneth Lindsay , Kilmarnock

In the allocation of contracts, the Admiralty always have under review all relevant factors such as the prices quoted and the situation in the various shipbuilding areas. In present circumstances, it is reasonable to anticipate that the Tyne will receive a considerable share of such contracts.

Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Jarrow

asked the President of the Board of Education what proportion of all orders placed since October, 1935, by his Department have been allocated to the North-eastern area; and whether any steps are being taken to increase the proportion?

Photo of Hon. Oliver Stanley Hon. Oliver Stanley , Westmorland

I am not quite clear what the hon. Member has in mind. My Department does not place any orders for supplies.

Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Jarrow

In view of the very large orders that must be placed for educational services in this country, has the right hon. Gentleman's Department no influence on how these orders are placed?

Photo of Hon. Oliver Stanley Hon. Oliver Stanley , Westmorland

If the hon. Lady's question refers to orders placed by local education authorities and she will put it on the Paper in that form, I will see what information I can obtain for her.