HC Deb 26 March 1872 vol 210 cc690-1

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether any Reports have been made to the War Department on the subject of the Stowmarket Gun Cotton Explosion; and, if so, whether he will lay such Reports upon the Table of the House; and, whether the recent Treasury Minute relative to the holding of Patents for Inventions is intended to be retrospective in its action and to apply to officials who are the antecedent owners of such Patents, as in the case of Gun Cotton? He wished also to ask his right hon. Friend a Question as to the Brighton Review. Some 23,000 Volunteers would be collected there, comprising infantry and artillery, but there would only be about 50 cavalry; and as it was desirable to give to the operations a semblance of reality, he should like to know, Whether his right hon. Friend had considered the propriety of having some regular cavalry at the review?


said, in reply, that Colonel Younghusband attended the inquest at Stowmarket, and made a Report relating to the storage and manufacture of gun-cotton by the War Department. There was no other objection to the production of the Report than arose from the fact that Colonel Younghusband was the president of a committee which was now making full inquiry into the whole subject, and it would be scarcely desirable to present the Report till this committee had concluded its labours. With regard to the recent Treasury Minute concerning the holding of patents for inventions, it was not intended to be retrospective; but if any officer held an office incompatible with the interests involved in any patent of which he was possessed, he would be required to elect between the two. In the case of Professor Abel, who held a patent with regard to gun-cotton, he had voluntarily assigned the patent. As to the attend- ance of regular cavalry at the Brighton Review, the suggestion of his noble Friend required some consideration, and all he could say then was, that it would be considered.