said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for War, Whether he has received a Letter dated the 21st of November, 1867, from Mr. Hale, the Inventor of the War Rockets adopted in Her Majesty's service, in which, among certain other charges, he accuses the Superintendent of the Royal Laboratory at Woolwich of having made alterations in the Rockets, which render them less efficient and more costly; and requesting the right hon. Gentleman to give him (Mr. Hale) an opportunity of substantiating these charges in the presence of the Superintendent of the Royal Laboratory; and, whether any 1107 Reply has been given to this communication?
§ SIR JOHN PAKINGTON
, in reply, said, the War Office had received a Letter from Mr. Hale, dated the 21st of November, 1867, which corresponded generally with the first part of the Question of the hon. Member, but which contained no request for an opportunity to be afforded him for substantiating the charges he had made against the Superintendent of the Royal Laboratory at Woolwich. What Mr. Hale said in the letter was that if he (Sir John Pakington) thought proper to call upon him, to substantiate his allegations, he was quite willing to do so. Mr. Hale had received the sum of £8,000 as compensation, and upon condition that the Crown should possess all rights over his invention; and in consideration of that payment, the Officer at the head of the Laboratory at Woolwich conceived he had a right to make such improvements in these rockets as would render them more serviceable. He (Sir John Pakington) had not heard that those alterations had rendered the rockets more costly and less efficient, and he did not believe it.