While the minister is dealing with Mr. Vautelet's resignation, will he pardon me for interrupting him? It is rumoured-and I am only taking it as a rumour, so that it can be cleared up-it is rumoured that Mr. Vautelet refused to consider the other designs, that when the question of selecting a design came to be considered, I think probably at the time the question of awarding the contracts came to be considered, Mr. Vautelet, for some reason, refused to take any part in the question whatever. It is also said that he was so determined about this matter, that he would not put a certain question to the vote at a meeting of the board, and that in consequence, the minister was called in, and had to act himself as chairman. Now I am not, for the present, criticising Mr. Vautelet. What the minister says about his adhering to his own design, and not desiring to continue his
services if it was not accepted, may be a proper position for him to take. But I would like the minister to explain, if he understands what I am driving at, how much foundation there is for that story.
Subtopic: SAFETY, THE FIRST ESSENTIAL.