HC Deb 27 April 1855 vol 137 cc1868-9

said, he would beg to ask the right hon. Gentleman the Clerk of the Ordnance whether there was any truth in the report that many of the fusees fitted to the shells fired from the mortars in the batteries before Sebastopol were made so long ago as 1798, 1801, 1804, and 1812; whether it was true that the powder employed to fill many of the shells was damaged powder restowed, instead of being fresh and good powder; and whether the new pattern fusees made in 1853, and subsequently, had not frequently been found to be inefficient?


said, he had submitted the notice of the hon. and gallant Member's question to the Director General of the Ordnance, who had informed him that all the fusees for the 10-inch mortars sent from Woolwich had been made in 1853 and 1854, that all the 13-inch mortar fusees also were of the new period of manufacture, but that those sent from Malta were probably of an earlier date, though he was unable to give the particulars. It was the custom to use restowed powder for filling the shells, on account of its being softer in grain than the other powder. With regard to the third question, he was happy to say that the pattern fusees made in 1853 and subsequently, had not frequently been found inefficient, but they had been improved upon in 1854, and the fusees of the newest make were those now in use in the Crimea.