HC Deb 28 July 1879 vol 248 cc1413-4

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether, since statements have been made on behalf of the Government that the system of heavy ordnance now in use in the service was originated in the Government factories, he can explain how it occurred that the jury gave a verdict in the case of Thomas against The Queen in favour of Mr. Lynall Thomas, for a sum of £6,500, for the expenses incurred by him in the production of the first heavy rifled guns?


, in reply, said, he had made inquiry at the War Office, but was unable to obtain any explanation of the extraordinary verdict which the jury had come to in the case referred to. He had no doubt that his hon. and learned Friends the Attorney General and Solicitor General might be able to throw some light upon the matter, as they represented the Crown on the occasion of the trial. He had, however, been informed of a fact of which, perhaps, his hon. and gallant Friend was ignorant—that the Judges of the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court had come to the unanimous conclusion that the verdict should be set aside. One of the allegations was that the weight of the evidence was entirely against it. They would appear to have been as greatly surprised at the verdict as his hon. and gallant Friend was.


said., that in consequence of the answer which he had received, and which did not entirely agree with the facts, he should ask a further Question on the subject hereafter.