HC Deb 08 March 1855 vol 137 cc238-9

said, he wished to correct a mis-statement into which he found he had been misled on a former evening. He had said that the wrenches at present in use in the army for drawing balls from Minié rifles were ineffective, and that Mr. Westley Richards had some months ago made a statement to that effect to the authorities at the Ordnance Office, and had at the same time submitted to them a pattern for all effective wrench, but that advice and that pattern had been rejected. He had since found that that statement was not altogether correct, for Mr. Westley Richards had since called upon him, and had told him that he (Mr. Richards) had warned the Ordnance authorities upon the matter, not some months ago, but in the month of January; that after that warning Sir Thomas Hastings had communicated with the inspector of small arms at Birmingham, who had replied that the wrenches at present in use were perfectly effectual, and Mr. Westley Richards, not satisfied with that reply, had since laid before the Ordnance officers a pattern of what he believed was all effective wrench. Those were the correct facts of the case, and he (Mr. Newdegate) wished to state that he had before been misled as to the time when Mr. Westley Richards had first warned the officers of the Ordnance that the wrenches in use by the army were ineffective, and as to the fact of Mr. Westley Richards not having, until subsequently, tendered the pattern of an effective wrench. He (Mr. Newdegate) had been mistaken as to the time of these occurrences; he thanked the House for having permitted him to correct this statement, for he should regret to do an injustice by leaving this mis-statement of dates uncorrected.


said, that after the statement of the hon. Gentleman it was not, he believed, necessary for him to enter into any explanation upon that subject. He would only recall the former allegation of the hon. Gentleman, that the Ordnance department had been made acquainted ten months ago with the fact that the wrenches used in the army were ineffective.


denied that he had ever assigned the period of these occurrences as ten months ago.