HC Deb 30 April 1855 vol 137 cc1949-50

said, he begged to ask the hon. Gentleman the Clerk to the Ordnance, whether it is contemplated by the Board of Ordnance to erect a paper manufactory at Woolwich, and for what purpose such an expenditure of the public money is proposed?


said, it was the intention of the Board of Ordnance to erect a paper manufactory at Woolwich. Hon. Gentlemen were aware that it had been always the custom to make up cartridges at Woolwich of paper which was cut in the Royal Laboratory, and twisted there by boys. It had been thought, on account of certain inequalities in the size of the paper, that the accuracy of aim with the Minie rifle had been disturbed, and at the same time the Board of Ordnance heard of the invention of Mr. Pixie, of Aberdeen, relat- ing to the manufacture of seamless cartridges from pulp. By means of this machinery, seamless cartridges could be made with great exactness at a much less cost than the seamed cartridges formerly made, and therefore it was determined to introduce that machinery at Woolwich. Hon. Gentlemen might ask why the inventor of that machinery could not have supplied the cartridges without Government erecting the factory. It was absolutely necessary to prevent the cartridges from being crushed in the process of their transmission to the place where they were to be filled with powder, and therefore the expense of carriage from Aberdeen would have been considerably more during the year than the whole expense of the machinery.