§ MR. HOWARD VINCENT
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland if his attention has been called to the ordering, by the 1146 Commissioners of National Education in Ireland, on the 12th February, 1889, from Abroad, of slate pencils to the value of £237 10s., the raw material for which was probably of British origin, and had been taxed upon entering the foreign country of manufacture; and, if he can represent to the Commissioners that the encouragement of national industries, whenever possible, is an essential part of national education?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
The Commissioners of National Education state that the supply of slate pencils in February last was ordered from Göbel, of Coburg, because his tender was the lowest of several tenders which had been received, and also because on five previous occasions he had, in carrying out his contract, given entire satisfaction. Millions of pencils are annually required by the pupils of the national schools, and it is therefore a matter of much importance to enable them to get them cheap as well as good. The Commissioners have reason to believe that when they purchased pencils from a home firm, invariably at higher prices than those now supplied by Göbel, of Coburg, the pencils were all the while German.