§ MR. TULLY
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland will he explain why the Local Government Board adopted the unusual course of cancelling the medicine contract in Mullingar Union, seeing that the tenders were accepted by the Board of Guardians in the manner prescribed by them, and the accounts checked by the union officials responsible for their correctness?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
An Inquiry on oath was held in June last by the Local Government Board respecting the medicine supply of the Mullingar Union, and the Board, on a careful consideration of all the facts adduced at the Inquiry, came to the conclusion that the contractor ought not to be intrusted with the supply of medicines, and they accordingly requested the Guardians to terminate the contract. This the Guardians unanimously decided to do. It appeared from the evidence given at the Inquiry, amongst other things, that the prices in the accepted tender of articles most in use were largely in excess of those in the other tenders, and that the prices charged for extra medicines not on the authorised list, which the contractor on the terms of the bond was bound to supply at current wholesale prices, were largely in excess of what they should have been, the Guardians having accepted a list of prices furnished by the contractor purporting to be wholesale prices.