§ MR. MURPHY
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether the writing inks used in public offices in Ireland are supplied from England through Her Majesty's Stationery Office; whether he is aware that excellent writing inks are manufactured in Ireland, which are being used by the National Board of Education to their entire satisfaction for the last seven years; whether application was made by a Dublin manufacturer to Her Majesty's Stationery Office for a portion of the contract for ink, offering to supply it of as good quality and at a lower price than it was costing the Stationery Department; why was this application not entertained; and will Irish manufacturers in future get an opportunity of contracting for at least the supply of ink used in Government Departments in Ireland?
§ MR. JACKSON
The ink used in public offices in Ireland is supplied from the Stationery Office. Tenders for the supply of ink were called for in August, 1889, and the contract (which was taken by a London firm) came into operation on the 1st January, 1890. On the 12th May, 1890, an application was received from a Dublin manufacturer to supply inks for part of the contract at prices, in some cases higher, in others lower, than those paid under the contract. The application should have been made several months earlier; and during the continuance of the present contract it cannot be entertained.
§ MR. JACKSON
I can understand that a sub-division of tenders might increase the cost. At the same time, I see no objection to any Irish or Dublin manufacturer, who is competent to give an adequate supply of the proper quality, being included in the list of persons who may tender.