§ MR. O'BEIRNE
said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for War, Whether, considering the very unsatisfactory trials of the heavy guns rifled on the Woolwich and Whitworth systems, both in cast and in wrought-iron, he thinks it is desirable to proceed further with the manufacture of guns upon either of these systems; whether he is not in possession of full information, showing that by the use of the oval bore principle much greater endurance can be obtained; and, whether he will place upon the table that information, with the cost of the recent competitive trial between the Armstrong and Whitworth guns?
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON
said, in reply to the first part of the Question of the hon. Member, that he was not 490 aware that the trial of the wrought-iron guns upon the Woolwich system had proved unsatisfactory; no trial had been made, that he was aware of, of heavy cast-iron guns, rifled either on the Woolwich or the Whitworth system. The oval bore system of rifling might possibly impart somewhat greater endurance to the guns than some of the proved systems, but he did not think it desirable to undergo the expense and delay that the trial would occasion. The Report of the Armstrong and Whitworth Committee had been laid on the table of the House; the cost of the competitive trial would be given.