§ * MR. CREMER (Shoreditch, Haggerston)
I wish to ask the First Commissioner of Works whether the furnishing trades generally will, at the proper time, be publicly informed that the Works Department are open to receive tenders for the supply of furniture and fittings for the new War Office and the other Government Offices, which are in course of erection; and whether it has hitherto been the practice to obtain furniture and fittings from one or two firms.
§ THE FIRST COMMISSIONER OF WORKS (Mr. HARCOURT,) Lancashire,
The furniture in the existing offices will, so far as possible, be utilised in the new buildings, and most of the additional articles required will be of the ordinary official patterns for which contracts are current. In certain cases not covered by such contracts competition will be invited from a large number of approved firms. It is not desirable to advertise for tenders from the whole trade; but any firm having a factory in or near London, where inspection of work in progress is possible, is allowed to tender on application, provided that proof is given of its ability to carry out work satisfactorily, and that the Government rules as to rates of wages are observed. It has not been the practice to obtain furniture from one or two firms.