§ CAPTAIN LEICESTER VERNON
said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State 2223 for War, Whether there be any foundation for the rumour that, with the Armstrong Guns sent to China, under command of Colonel Crofton, Royal Artillery, it has been found expedient to send civilian workmen belonging to Sir William Armstrong's manufactory, for the purpose of attending to details which in ordinary cases fall within the duties of the gunners?
§ MR. SIDNEY HERBERT
said, he did not believe that it was necessary that any large number of skilled workmen should be sent out with the object to which the question of the hon. and gallant Gentleman related, inasmuch as the ordinary gunners could work the guns referred to as well as anybody else. At the same time it was manifest that whatever was new required more than the usual amount of care and experience in order to be efficiently dealt with, and the Government had therefore deemed it right that there should be somebody at hand who might be able to remedy at once any defects in the guns which might arise. He was informed that only two such persons accompanied the expedition.