§ MR. OSBORNE
asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether, after the adverse opinions on the Martini lock so generally expressed at the late Wimbledon meeting, the Government intend to proceed with the manufacture of that arm; if they will consent to an independent inquiry into the cause of the defects 217 shown to exist in the lock arrangements; and if the attention of the Secretary of State for War has been called to these defects by opinions placed in his hands of some of the most eminent mechanical engineers in the kingdom?
§ MR. CARDWELL
Sir, the adverse opinions assumed in the Question of the hon. Member have not reached me. On the contrary, the opinions which have reached me have been eminently favourable. A careful inquiry was made by the Committee, the result of which was at variance with the existence, assumed in the question, of defects in the lock arrangements. Rival inventors have sent in opinions of mechanical engineers favouring their respective inventions. These opinions have been considered by the Committee, by whom eminent engineers were examined. I am of opinion, and this opinion the House after full debate has confirmed, that there is no ground for disturbing the decision of the Committee in favour of the Martini-Henry rifle.
MR. M. T. BASS
inquired whether some of the most practical and scientific men at the Wimbledon meeting had not declared that the spiral spring was unsuitable for the military service?
§ MR. CARDWELL
said that, as no Notice had been given of this last Question, he could not say what passed at Wimbledon, but he repeated that the opinions which had reached him were favourable to the Martini-Henry rifle.