§ MR. W. KENNY (Dublin, St. Stephen's Green)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury what is the cause of the delay in commencing the 377 works for the construction of the new lecture theatre of the Royal Dublin Society in Dublin, to which the Society has subscribed £5,000; will he explain why, although plans were approved of in November, 1892, tenders were not invited by the Board of Works until December, 1893; if he is aware that tenders were sent in last January, and that no apparent action has been taken with reference to them since that time; and if he will take steps with a view to having the works at once commenced, and the contract with the Society, on the faith of which they subscribed the £5,000, carried out?
§ SIR J. T. HIBBERT
The plans approved of in November, 1892, were only preliminary or sketch plans, without any details agreed upon between the Royal Dublin Society and the Board of Works, and the delay since the revised plans were ready (in April, 1893) has been due chiefly to the fact that the estimate of cost largely exceeded the sum authorised by the Treasury, and it was therefore necessary to make arrangements for the purpose of avoiding such excess. It has been within the knowledge of the Society ever since January that the Board of Works have been in communication with the architects and the surveyor with that object. The contract for the theatre is now ready for signature, and is only delayed by a demand by the Society for the inclusion in the scheme of two rooms having no connection with the purposes of a theatre. The Board of Works have informed the Society of the impossibility of proceeding with the work on the understanding that these rooms are to be provided, and as soon as the Society assent to their omission the contract will be signed and the work begun forthwith.