§ MR. NANNETTI (Dublin, College Green)
I beg to ask the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, whether he is aware that contracts are given away to English and Scotch firms for the building work and other operations in connection with the Board of Works in Ireland, with-out being put up to competition or advertising for tenders for the work; whether the new supper room at Dublin Castle, the 1188 servants' rooms at the Viceregal Lodge, Dublin, and the new stationery offices at the Custom House, Dublin, have recently been executed by contractors outside Ireland without competition or tender; will he explain why this practice is being carried on; and will he say whether he has seen the correspondence between the Master Builders' Association and the Board of Works protesting against the continuance of this treatment of Irish contractors.
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY (Mr. VICTOR CAVENDISH, Derbyshire, W.)
The usual rule is to obtain competitive tenders, but circumstances of urgency arise from time to time, and make it necessary to depart from this rule. The facts as to the temporary supper rooms and servants' rooms were explained by my predecessor on the 14th July last.† The annexe required for the stationery office was urgently needed, and was obtained from a Glasgow firm, which was in a position to supply it promptly, as it deals specially in this kind of building. I have not seen the correspondence referred to.
§ MR. NANNETTI
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the same thing has been going on for the last four or five years, and that thousands of pounds have been thus expended which might more advantageously have been devoted to Ireland.