§ Mr. WATT (Glasgow, College)
To ask the Secretary for Scotland whether he is aware that a new school under the Department is being built at Bellshill, Lanarkshire, and that the school board of that district, instead of accepting the lowest offer from approved builders, have accepted one £300 above the lowest; whether his Department will sanction this extra payment; and, if so, will he explain to the House why it should be so sanctioned.
(Answered by Mr. Sinclair.) Plans for a new school at Bellshill were approved 65 and a loan for the erection of the buildings, in terms of Section 45 of the Education (Scotland) Act, 1872, was sanctioned by the Department in August last. The Department has no knowledge of the alleged fact that an offer other than the lowest was accepted by the board. The settling of contracts is a matter which is entirely within the discretion of the board, and it does not rest with the Department either to give or withhold sanction of the board's action.