asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether the Imperial War Graves Commission is proposing to erect marine memorials; if so, how much public money it is proposed to spend upon these memorials; whether only firms named by the architect have been allowed to tender for the work of making and erecting these memorials: and, if so, whether he will give instructions that where public money is being spent upon memorials the work of making and erecting the same shall be open to public tender?
The Imperial War Graves Commission is in process of erecting three memorials to the memory of officers and men of the Royal Navy who were lost at sea. The total cost to the public of the three memorials is not expected to exceed £70,000. The procedure adopted by the Imperial War Graves Commission when placing contracts for the construction of these memorials was that of competition among selected firms. Advertisements were inserted in the public Press inviting applications to be placed on a selected list from firms desirous of tendering, and the contracts were placed by competition among the firms so selected. The execution of a certain part, however, of these memorials, consisting of work to be carried out in bronze, was offered for tender to firms nominated by the eminent architect responsible for the design, the Commis- sion, after full consideration, accepting the architect's advice that the work was of an artistic nature which necessitated this procedure.