asked the Surveyor General of Ordnance, How much of the hay sent out for the use of the Egyptian Expedition was, on being landed, found caked and mildewed; and, whether the Commissary General at Head Quarters was consulted as to its purchase, or the mode in which it should be packed; and, if not, who purchased it and who was responsible for the method in which it was packed?
A portion of the supplies first sent to Egypt arrived in a caked or mildewed condition, and had to be used for bedding purposes. It is impossible to say what was the amount of hay so damaged. This was part of the supply which, in consequence of the rapid departure of the Expedition, had to be pressed in perpetual pressing machines without respect to the weather, and frequently throughout the night. Of the supplies subsequently despatched, which were pressed under the ordinary precautions, I have no reason to believe that any portion was found unfit for use, and the general officer and veterinary surgeon reported favourably on the other consignments of hay. In reply to the second Question, I have to say that the Commissary General at head quarters was not consulted as to the purchase of the hay, or as to the mode in which it should be pressed. It was purchased in the usual manner, under contracts, in various parts of England and Ireland, and it was pressed under the inspection of the local Commissariat officers.