§ Lord Eliot
said, that such was the case. The contract being about to expire, the Post-office authorities had given notice in the usual terms that they were ready to receive tenders from persons desirous of taking the contract for the next year. Three tenders were sent in; one by Mr. Purcell, the present contractor, proposing to contract again on the existing terms; one from Messrs. Wright and Williams, of London, who proposed to contract on lower terms than Mr. Purcell; and a third from Mr. Croal, of Glasgow, who proposed terms considerably lower than Mr. Purcell's, and by which in fact, a very large sum per annum would be saved to the public; in fact, no less than 2,000l. a-year, or nearly 10,000l. upon the whole duration of the contract, without any deterioration of the service. When Mr. Purcell was told that these parties had undertaken the contract on terms lower than his own,, he then proposed to execute the contract on the lowest terms offered, but the Government thought it would not be justice to the other party, who had in the first instance proposed the lowest contract, to take the contract away from him and give it to Mr. Purcell. The Postmaster-general, he thought had taken the only course which in fairness he could take, namely, to give the contract to the person who in the first instance had put in the lowest tender, according to the terms of the Government proposal, and that gentleman was Mr. Croal.
§ Mr. Ross
said Mr. Purcell put in his tender exactly in conformity to the advertisement, whereas Mr. Croal and Messrs. Wright and Williams, of London, though they put in tenders, both lower in price than Mr. Purcell, accompanied their tenders with a condition that the Postmaster-general was to allow an extended time for the supply of the necessary number of new coaches, and that they should be permitted to work old coaches for some months, until the new ones could be fur- 330 nished; a condition which Mr. Purcell did not make. Mr. Purcell conceived that any tender accompanied by conditions could not and should not have been received or entertained; and that the only legal and proper tender offered was his own. After his tender was received, Mr. Croal still adhered to the condition which accompanied it. Mr. Purcell considered he was entitled to the same permission to amend his proposals, which certainly would have been different had he been aware that the Post-office did not intend to adhere to its own printed conditions.
asked why, in the present instance, the usual notice for tenders had not been given. The contract expired on the 28th May next, but no notice was issued by the Postmaster-general until the 22d February, though six months notice was the proper notice to give in these cases.
§ Lord Eliot
said, he would ask the Postmaster-general this question, if it were desired, but as he was not connected with that department he could not himself answer it.