asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware of the great difficulty of masons in the, Northern and Midland parts of the Kingdom in tendering for the erection of headstones in French and Belgian cemeteries owing to the stipulation that it must be Portland stone; and, seeing that there is stone of excellent quality in other parts of the Kingdom and that the interred soldiers came from all parts of the Kingdom, will he give all contractors an equal chance by withdrawing the stipulation?
My hon. Friend is under a misapprehension. In inviting tenders for headstones no stipulation is made by the Commission that the stone must only be Portland stone. The Commission is at all times prepared to consider tenders for such other stone as the contractor may choose to tender for, and is guided in its selection solely by considerations of quality and price. As a matter of fact, other British stone has been used.