§ Mr. VINCENT KENNEDY
asked the Chief Secretary if he will say whether the contract for engineer in the latest Bawnboy labourers' cottage scheme has yet been given, and by whom; who is the gentleman appointed, and at what percent, did he tender; was there a slightly lower tender, and, if so, by whom; will he say why the higher tender was accepted, if such be the case; whether any consideration will be had for the interests of the ratepayers in this matter; and in there any good reason for passing over an exceedingly competent local engineer and architect, who has offered his services?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The officer appointed under Section 9 of the Labourers Act of 1906 to carry out an improvement scheme in the Bawnboy Rural District, as the Council had failed to make an adequate scheme, has appointed, after due advertisement for candidates, Mr. F. G. Townsend to act as engineer in connection with the scheme, at a remuneration of 5s. for marking each plot, and 2½ per cent, upon the cost of the work carried out in accordance with the contracts for the execution of the work. It appears that Mr. P. J. Brady tendered at a somewhat lower rate than Mr. Towns-end. In view of the responsibilities falling on the officer appointed to perform all the duties of the Council in the matter, it seems to me to be reasonable that he should be permitted to employ the person whom he considers to be the most suitable 405W candidate, subject to compliance with the requirements of the Labourers Order of 1906 with respect to qualifications and remuneration. Mr. Townsend is considered by the chief architect to the Local Government Board to be a very careful and competent engineer, and the rate of his remuneration is less than the maximum authorised under the Labourers Order.