§ 32. Sir A. HOLBROOK
asked the Postmaster-General what was the cost of printing the London telephone directory when it was put out for competition by private firms of printers; and what has been the yearly cost since it has been produced in the Government printing factory?
The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Guinness)
The cost of the last issue produced by a private firm was £34,180, the contract price being inclusive of paper. Since the printing contract was transferred to the Government printing works, the corresponding figures have varied between £26,518 and £39,637.
I regret that it would not be in the public interest to do so, because it would necessarily prejudice the interests of the Stationery Office, as compared with outside contractors.
Tenders are accepted in many cases. As my hon. and gallant Friend knows, an inquiry has taken place on the subject.
§ Commander BELLAIRS
Does the cost of printing include a proper allowance for rates and other factors that enter into the calculations of private firms?
The Public Accounts Committee has on several occasions, as my hon. and gallant Friend is aware, taken steps to ensure that proper overhead charges are shown, and on that basis the accounts show a considerable profit.