§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)
I beg to ask the First Commissioner of Works whether he is aware that the contractor for the new sorting office at Paddington has sub-let a portion of the brickwork pointing; whether this subcontracting was done with the approval of the Board; and, if so, on what grounds; and whether the assent of the Board was asked previous or subsequent to the sub-contract being made?
§ THE FIRST COMMISSIONER OF WORKS (Mr. PLUNKET,) Dublin University
The only portion of the work referred to by the hon. Member which has been sub-let is the pointing of the glazed brickwork. I approved of this on the ground that this is a special kind of work, requiring to be done by experts. The men were paid 10d. an hour, instead of the common rate of 9d. The contractor did not obtain my consent until he had entered into the sub-contract, as the amount of work was so trifling that he was under the impression that it was hardly worth a special reference. In this, no doubt, he was wrong, and I have called his attention to the matter; but I did not, on that account, think it necessary to withhold an assent which I would certainly have given had it been asked for beforehand.