§ MR. STRAUS (Tower Hamlets, Mile End)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, referring to the contract for The Parliamentary Debates, whether the statement of the late Controller of the Stationery Office (evidence before the Select Committee on Parliamentary Debates, 1893, Q. 260) that practically no one looked after the contract at all, fairly represents the present practice of the department; whether he is aware that although the current contract stipulates for publication on the sixth day after each debate, copies of the Report are not on public sale until the seventh day, and sometimes later; and whether, during the last four years, any fines have been collected from the contractors under Clause 6 of the contract.
§ MR. MCKENNA
The Stationery Office looks carefully after the observance of this contract in regard to the date of publication. In the contract to which the hon. Member refers the publication 1438 has to be made on the sixth day after each day's debate. That is exclusive of Sundays, and this means in practice the seventh day. I am assured that in no one instance during the last four years, except on occasions which were expressly sanctioned beforehand, has there been any delay. Therefore there have been no fines to collect from the contractors.