§ MR. WEIR
I beg to ask the First Commissioner of Works whether he is aware that, although £3,500 was voted for the year 1898–9 for alterations and additions to the Revenue Buildings, Edinburgh, only £1,836 4s. 2d. was expended during the year, the slow progress being attributed partly to difficulties with the foundations, partly to inclement weather, and partly to an insufficient supply of stone from the quarries; and will he state if stone of the kind required was unobtainable at other quarries; was the contractor under penalties for non-fulfilment of contract to time: and, if so, will he say whether penalties have been enforced, and whether the contract price has been or will be exceeded.
§ MR. AKERS DOUGLAS
The quarry specified in the contract for the new Inland Revenue building at Edinburgh ceased working shortly after the building was begun, and permission was given to the contractor to use stone from another quarry. The required supply could not, however, be punctually obtained owing to the great demands for the stone at the time. No equally suitable stone could have been obtained from any other quarry. The contractor was under penalties for non-completion by a specified time, and the question of enforcing these is under consideration. The contract has not been, and will not be, exceeded.