WRITTEN ANSWERS. - DEDUCTION FROM LEIX MERCHANT'S ACCOUNT.

asked the Minister for Defence whether, in paying the account of Messrs. Mercier & Sons, Durrow, Leix, the Army 10 per cent. on the account was deducted; whether the Quartermaster-General has informed Messrs. Mercier that the deduction was made in accordance with the instructions received from the Army Finance Department; whether he is aware that the deduction is a purely arbitrary one, and whether he will explain on what basis it has been made?

The deductions made from Messrs. Mercier's accounts are for overcharges for hirage of cars. The hirage rates allowable have been fixed after careful consideration, and would appear to be reasonable.