§ MR. J. MACVEAGH (Down, S.)
To ask the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that his predecessors authorised separate contracts for uniforms, cloth- 1634 ing, caps, etc., for Ireland; and whether he will reconsider the matter of separate contracts for Irish requirements in such articles as waterproof clothing, bicycles, boots, tools, or cause a Departmental inquiry to be held into the whole subject.
(Answered by Mr. Sydney Buxton.) Separate tailoring and head-dress contracts for Irish Post Office staff are arranged. The tailoring contracts go to Irish firms, the head-dress prices quoted by Irish firms are usually prohibitive. Separate boot contracts for Ireland were formerly placed, but the plan was discontinued because the prices quoted by the few Irish firms that competed were very high. Irish firms can compete for the general supply, and, if a reasonable tender were received, I should not object to delivery in Dublin. Irish tenders for waterproofs have been at prohibitive prices, I know of no tool-makers in Ireland, and of only one bicycle-making firm on any considerable scale. The latter does not reply to invitations to tender. This Department would of course be glad to hear of any competent firms in Ireland, and possibly something in this direction will result from the arrangement that has just been made with the Dublin Industrial Development Association.