§ MR. REMNANT (Finsbury, Holborn)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether, in the case of the Royal Army Medical College now being erected at Millbank at a cost of £80,000 of public money, the following sub-contracts have been let abroad, namely granite £2,156, fireproof construction £7,768, asphalte £1,620, wood flooring £1,400, Italian mosaic pavement £800, sanitary and lavatory wares to be made abroad by an English firm with factory abroad £1,800, window-glass in Belgium £260, and paint from Hamburg £100; whether he will state why any or all of these contracts have been placed abroad instead of in this country; and whether any steps were taken to ensure that the fair wages clauses which are enforced in British 471 contracts were observed in any or all of these contracts.
§ MR. HALDANE
The Norwegian granite and Frazzi form of fireproof construction were selected on grounds of economy. The asphalte was done by the Val de Travers Company, who hold the War Department Contract for the supply of asphalte generally. The wood-flooring used for building operations is practically all imported. The mosaic flooring was executed by English firms. The sanitary and lavatory wares were supplied by London firms who have large works in this country. It has not been possible to trace, in so short a notice, the source of manufacture of the glass and paint. The notice as to the fair wages clause contained in War Department contracts was posted on the works as well as inserted in the general contract. I would point out that the contract in which these items are included was placed in February, 1905, before I took up office.
§ MR. REMNANT
Has the right hon. Gentleman seen the specifications for the different articles and does he accept the responsibility?
§ MR. HALDANE
said he did not know what was meant by whether he accepted responsibility for specifications made for a contract in February, 1905. The specification was made before he came into office, and he had no reason to think it was not properly made.