§ MR. LENG (Dundee)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether, in addition to the contract for the reporting of the Parliamentary Debates by Reuter's Telegram Company, Limited, he will, without giving the names of other tenderers, supply a concise statement, for the information of the House, of the terms offered by them, so that they may be compared with those of the accepted offer?
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Sir JOHN GORST, Chatham)
As I stated last week in answer to a question, it is unusual to publish the names of the unsuccessful tenderers, but I may state generally that the 15 unsuccessful tenders varied from £245 to £650 per volume.
§ MR. LENG
I beg to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he is aware that the publication of advertisements along with Reuter's Parliamentary Debates, in addition to their publication in the Board of Trade Journal, has created great dissatisfaction among newspaper and other publishers in London, on the ground that it constitutes Government competition with private business, and whether the Treasury will withhold their assent from similar arrangements for inserting advertisements in Parliamentary publications until those affected have an opportunity of stating their objections to the system?
§ SIR J. GORST
No, Sir; no complaint of the kind has ever reached me. The Parliamentary Debates are not a Parliamentary but a private publication, and there can, therefore, be no competition of Government with private business. I am not prepared to give such an undertaking as the hon. Member desires.
§ SIR J. GORST
The contract has been laid on the Table. I cannot answer from recollection what are the stipulations, but I do not think that was one of the stipulations.