§ MR. LONSDALE
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that, when advertising for tenders for the supply of medicines and surgical appliances, the guardians of the Edenderry union stipulated that the envelopes should be marked on the outside from Irish firms; that out of many tenders sent in only four were marked as directed, and only those four were opened and considered; whether this device was resorted to because the guardians had been warned by the Local Government Board that recoupment would not be made in any case where the guardians did not accept the lowest tender received by them; and whether, having regard to the fact that 55 the practice of the Edenderry guardians is being recommended for adoption by other boards with the avowed object of boycotting English firms, the Local Government Board propose taking any action in the matter.
§ MR. BIRRELL
The facts are correctly stated in the first two parts of the Question. The regulations provide that recoupment from the local taxation account will not be allowed in any case in which the guardians accept a tender other than the lowest, without the approval of the Local Government Board. The Board do not consider that the contracts in this case have been entered into in accordance with the regulations, and they intend, therefore, to disallow recoupment to the guardians in respect of the cost of any medicines or appliances obtained under such contracts.