asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy not to award defence contracts to prime contractors who do not observe the code of practice for competitive subcontracting in their terms of payment to subcontractors.
I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave him on 24 March 1987, at column 141. The code of practice is a guidance document and it would be inappropriate to make it mandatory, particularly as the relationship between contractors and their subcontractors is a matter for the parties themselves and one in which the MOD should not he directly involved. Having said that, I am very willing to look into any particular case of difficulty which my hon. Friend cares to draw to my attention.