Sir LEICESTER HARMSWORTH
asked the Secretary for Scotland if he can see his way to intercede with the Controller of the Stationery Office with a view of securing some abatement of the extraordinary charges made for printing the lists of electors and register of voters; and whether he is aware that, in the case of Sutherland, the cost of the present register has been rendered at over £540, whereas the cost of former registers was but £40, although the increase in the number of names contained in the present register compared with prior registers was only to 8,000 from 3,000?
§ Mr. BALDWIN
The charges for printing were the lowest which the Stationery Office were able to obtain from printing firms. As half the cost of printing falls 1435W on the Stationery Office Vote that Department is, naturally, as anxious as the local authority to secure economical terms. I am not aware what the cost of former registers was, but I understand that the former printer of the register for the county of Sutherlandshire at present holds a contract for printing the lists and registers for another district in Scotland, and their rates are exactly the same as those charged by the present printer of the Sutherlandshire lists and registers. The tenders for the printing of the various lists and registers were obtained by the respective registration officers, and if it were possible to obtain better terms than those given by the present printer of the Sutherlandshire lists and registers it is fair to assume that the registration officer would have invited other firms who would have been willing to do the work more cheaply.