§ MR. BOWLES (Lambeth, Norwood)
I beg to ask the First Commissioner of Works whether the contract for redecorating the reading room of the British Museum was put out to public tender; and, if not, will he say why this course was not adopted.
§ MR. RUNCIMAN
Six firms were asked to compete. Public tendering would have been impossible in this case, as an unlimited number of people could not have been allowed access to the reading room when it was in use by the public to take the measurements and particulars necessary to enable them to frame a tender.
§ MR. J. WARD (Stoke-on-Trent)
I should like to ask the hon. Gentleman if some of the officials of the British Museum could not have got out bills of quantities and supplied them to the contractors.
§ MR. LEA (St. Pancras, E.)
Why could not the firms have sent their own employees to take out the specifications when the reading room was closed?