§ MR. TULLY
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the Local Government Board last year cancelled the medicine contract in Mullingar Union, and declared the local contractor unfit to hold the contract, on account of the system of overcharging practised, the Local Government Board pointing out that the local contractor charged £70 for drugs which Messrs. Leslie, Dublin, tendered to supply for £40; whether the Local Government Board have sanctioned the action of the Guardians this year in voting the medicine contract to the same local contractor, although there were five lower tenders from competent and respectable houses in Dublin, Sligo, and Cork; and whether he can state the reasons that have induced the Local Government Board to sanction this year what they cancelled last year?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
The reasons for the termination of the medicine contract last year wore explained by me in answer to the hon. Member's previous question of the 2Gth January. Boards of Guardians are at liberty to enter into Union contracts, including the supply of medicines, without the sanction of the Local Government 1519 Board. The Board have not expressed their sanction to this year's contract, but should it hereafter be found that overcharges are made in connection with the contract the Board would then take cognizance of the matter.