§ MR. M'CARTAN (Down, S.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutant of Ireland, with reference to the contract recently entered into by the Commissioners of National Education in Ireland for books used in the National Schools, Whether the new second books now supplied are stitched with wire instead of with Irish linen threads, as formerly; whether they are inferior in workmanship, less serviceable, and more liable to lose their covers when opened; whether the children have to pay the same price as formerly for them; whether the late contractor has offered to supply more securely bound books at prices 10 per cent lower than the price now charged; and, whether, under the circumstances, the teachers will be allowed to purchases, sell, and use in 490 their schools the books so procurable at a lower price?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR) (Manchester, E.)
The Commissioners of National Education report that the new second books are stitched with wire. The books are not inferior, but quite the contrary, a great improvement in their durability being effected by the wire stitching. The children pay the same price as formerly. The late contractor has not offered to supply better books at the reduced price named.
§ MR. M'CARTAN
asked, if the right hon. Gentleman was aware that books stitched with wire could not be opened without tearing the covers of them?