They did not tender to us.
Those firms were not main contractors of ours. They may have tendered to a shipbuilding firm, but even if that were done, a tender put in in 1940 should not govern the price being paid for the article in 1943, 1944 or 1945. In other wTords the original price may have been put in as a tender in 1941. As a rule the shipbuilding firms have not rechecked their subcontract prices as they should have done as the efficiency of the industry improved; therefore we are forced to do the job.
As I say_ these are not direct contractors of ours. The position of those firms is not as serious as my hon. friend might suppose. After all, most of them have been furnished with greatly improved and enlarged shops and greatly improved machinery. They are all fitted with the most modern machinery, and they are permitted to write them off under accelerated depreciation so that the small man is in a vastly better position to operate after the war than he -was at the beginning of the war. He may require working capital; if so, he will, of course, have first recourse to the industrial bank which was formed to take care of exactly that kind of loan.