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SUPPLY OF MARBLE WHOSE THE RESPONSIBILITY? Difficulty and delay are likely to be experienced'in. the carrying through of the Parliament Buildings contract, owing to the failure on the part of the contractors to procure marble from Sandy Bay, Nelson, in blocks of sufficient size and good enough quality for use in those parts of the building for which this stone was specified. • This stone is not prescribed for use as tho main building stone, but for ornamental purposes, to relieve the gray granite. The quarry owners to whom the contractors, looked to supply this stone are unable to do .so. They "could and did supply while they were working their quarry small blocks of stone, but none of the large blocks supplied were passed by tho Government overseers on the building. Now tho contractors are asking to be released from their obligation to use this marble, but the Minister has refused to grant their request, not being convinced that there is no stone procurable. The Minister for. Public Works is supported ,in his decision by the*opinion of experts from the Department, who examined and made a report to him on the quality of.the stone. Mr. Fra-ser. [and the contractors havo had their differences of opinion, and argument and discussion m private, but at intervals since the deadlock occurred the stonemasons, abdut;6o or 70 in all, who expected to find. two. years' work on this building,_' havo protested, and their, protests voiced in : a.'letter publish-'-ed yesterday 'from the "seoretary of their association amount to a "complaint against the Government. They say in effect that because the Government, in-, sist'uppn the use of Sandy Bay marble, the building operations will be held up for six', months while, a new quarry is opened up and a, tramline laid to it. For' the fact that the] stone is not pro- ■ cured they do pot, ih'print at any rate, give share of the blamb to the contractors. The ; complaint of the stonemasons was referred to. 1 tho Minister of Public Works by a reporter yesterday. "It is - aif'entire;misrepresentation of the trueiposition; and contrary 'to what I have said Mr. Fraser. ■ "I am advised, that there is plenty of good stone' at Sandy Bay. When l sent experts down to report to, me as to whether- ; there was enough suitable stone procurable, the .contractors also sent down an : expert; and their expert reported that there is:good solid stone in the quarry. As for the : masons/ they are not the «eryants of the Government; they are' ■< the -servants. .It isn't my business to keep them employed; it is the contractors' business. And it isn't my business to find stone for the con-' tractors who have, undertaken to supply it; it is .their business to find it."

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Bibliographic details

Dominion, Dominion, Volume 8, Issue 2411, 17 March 1915

Word Count

PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS Dominion, Volume 8, Issue 2411, 17 March 1915