HC Deb 08 March 1860 vol 157 cc105-6

said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for War, Whether it is true that the offer of Mr. Whitworth's gratuitous services in aiding to adapt the Enfield Establishment to the production of rifles on his system has been refused by Her Majesty's Government; and, if so, whether he has any objection to state the reasons why; and whether any calculation has been made of the probable cost of the Whitworth Rifle if made at the Enfield Establishment?


said, he had looked back into some of the Minutes of the Committee which had sat on the subject of the Enfield and Whitworth Rifles, and had found that in November, 1858, Mr. Whitworth had proposed, not to the War Office, but to the Committee, to give instructions at Enfield with a view to enable rifles on his principle to be manufactured at that establishment. He had not been able to discover any record of a refusal of that offer, but he gathered from a Resolution at which the Committee had arrived that they had rejected it, and that their rejection had been based on the fact that they conceived the principle of rifling which was adopted by Mr. Whitworth required a different metal from that which was employed at Enfield—which was less strong than the homogeneous metal which he used—thus rendering the expense of his rifle £10, while that of the Enfield was only £2 17s. 6d.