§ MR. W. FIELD
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he can state the amount of the original estimate for the repairs and reconstruction of the Royal Barracks in Dublin; also the sum in excess of the original estimate that was ultimately expended; the date of final payment, and the date of completion of the contract; and, whether it was deemed expedient to hold an inquiry into the matter?
THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE WAR OFFICE (Mr. J. POWELL-WILLIAMS,) Birmingham, S.
No complete detailed estimate was made of the cost of reconstructing the Royal Barracks in Dublin. In order that the troops to be quartered in Dublin might be housed as quickly as possible in good sanitary quarters, it was considered by the local military authorities essential that the reconstruction should be commenced without waiting for detailed plans and estimates, which would have caused delay. It was only as the old buildings were pulled to pieces, and the old drains explored, that the extent of the work necessary gradually became known, and the estimates furnished, while the work was in progress, were consequently to some extent misleading. The reconstruction was commenced in the spring of 1891, and the major portion of the barracks was occupied by the troops early in 1892. The bulk of the work was completed by the autumn of 1893; though the whole was not finished until the middle of 1895. The final payment to the contractor was made on the 4th July 1895. The whole case was made subject to careful investigation in the War Department, but it was not deemed necessary to hold any special inquiry.