§ Mr. THOMAS RICHARDSON
asked the President of the Local Government Board, whether his Board have decided that the Willesden Board of Guardians must put out to contract the work of painting and redecorating the exterior wood-work of the workhouse and infirmary buildings; if so, whether he will state the grounds upon which the decision was come to; whether he is aware that for the guardians to carry out the work by direct labour the estimated cost does not exceed £300, whereas among the original tenders received from contractors the lowest was £558; whether he is also aware that this, the lowest, tender was accepted and the work was commenced, but it was so bad that the guardians stopped the contract; and whether it is the practice of the Board to encourage contract work irrespective of economical or other reasons?
§ Mr. BURNS
The decision of the Local Government Board was given on the general ground that the circumstances of the case did not appear to justify a departure from the ordinary practice. I may say that I do not find that the guardians had any ground for supposing that the work which they required could be done for any such figure as £300.