§ Mr. JOHN ROCHE
asked the Chief Secretary whether the surcharges amounting to £9 4s. 9d. against the Ballinasloe guardians were for the difference in two tenders for advertising and job printing, and also the printing of the half-yearly abstract of accounts; whether those tenders are 20 per cent. less than was given to a former contractor four years ago; whether the Local Government Board and the present auditor had on a previous occasion accepted the guardians' explanation why the higher tender for this work was accepted; whether this has been the first surcharge made against the guardians of the Ballinasloe union, which is the lowest rated in the county; and whether work had been done which had not been included in the contract?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
Two of the three surcharges making up the amount stated in the question were in respect of losses incurred by accepting the higher of two tenders for printing and advertising in each of two successive years. The third surcharge related to the printing of abstracts, as stated. The surcharges are before the Local Government Board on appeal, but with the information at present before them they are not in a position1968W to confirm the accuracy of the statements made by the hon. Member in his question. All the relevant circumstances will, however, be investigated by the Board before they give their decision on the appeals.