§ MR. J. EWART
said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for War, If he has received any Report of the Competitive Trial which took place on the 20th, 22nd, and 23rd instant, between Mackay's 12-pounder windage muzzle-loader Gun, and the Armstrong 12-pounder breech-loader service Gun; the Mackay Gun firing smooth cast-iron projectiles without expansion, and the Armstrong lead-coated projectiles without any windage; and whether he has any objection to lay such Report upon the table?
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON,
in reply, said, he believed that Mr. Mackay's gun, which had been sent to Shoeburyness for trial, had already been to a certain extent tried by the Ordnance Select Committee, but no Report of those trials had yet been received at the War Office, as it was not usual to send in a Report until the trials were completed, which was not the case with Mr. Mackay's gun. He should state that no orders had been given for a competitive trial between the Mackay and any other gun. The gun sent to Woolwich was sent there for trial as to range, accuracy, and so on, but not for the purpose of comparing and testing it as to service with any other gun. To lay the Report of the trials upon the table before they were completed, and before the Secretary of State for War had decided upon the course to be adopted with regard to the gun, would be an unusual course. It was very improbable that the final Report would be received during the present Session, and therefore it was unnecessary for him to answer further the latter part of the hon. Gentleman's question.