HC Deb 13 June 1872 vol 211 cc1691-2

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether he has authorized Mr. Andrews, a carpenter and pattern maker in the arsenal at Woolwich, to proceed to Constantinople in order to practise with the Martini-Henry rifle, and thus to induce the Turkish Government to adopt it; whether Mr. Andrews is still in the public service; whether he goes to Constantinople at the cost of the nation; and for how long a time he has received leave to absent himself from his duties at Woolwich?


Sir, the Secretary of State has not authorized Mr. Andrews to proceed to Constantinople. The facts of the case are as follows:—On the 7th of May Mr. Andrews, a carpenter employed in the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich, received leave of absence, on his private affairs, from the head of his department for one month, without pay. He has not yet returned. Mr. Andrews is still a carpenter in the Royal Arsenal, and he has not gone abroad at the cost of the public. This morning a letter was received from the agent of Mr. Martini, dated at Constantinople, the 4th of June, applying for an extension of the leave of absence of Mr. Andrews, who, I may observe, is one of the best rifle shots in England. Until this letter was received, the superintendent of the Royal Laboratory, the head of his department, was not aware that Mr. Andrews was at Constantinople, nor out of England, nor in any way employed by Mr. Martini.