§ COLONEL LEARMONTH
asked the Surveyor General of Ordnance, Whether it is the fact that the last Government Contract for 7,000 barrels of pebble gunpowder has been given to a Belgian firm, in preference to any English firm which tendered for it; and, whether it is the fact that nearly all the pebble gunpowder previously supplied by this same Belgian firm has been rejected, as not fulfilling the requisite conditions?
§ SIR HENRY STORKS
Yes, Sir, a contract for 7,000 barrels has been given to a Belgian in preference to any English firm, the reason being that the Belgian price is 69s. per barrel as against 95s. on the part of all the English firms. It is not a fact that nearly all the pebble powder previously supplied by the same Belgian firm has been rejected. The Superintendent of the Royal Gunpowder Factory states that the percentage of rejections has, on the whole, been considerably less than that on the supplies of the English firms.