HC Deb 16 March 1883 vol 277 c698

asked the Secretary to the Admiralty, If he will be good enough to state whether a certain manufacture is carried on at the dockyards at Portsmouth and Deptford, by which twine is prepared for sail making by being steeped in a certain composition and passed through rollers and nippers and then wound into balls for use; whether the composition, machinery, and whole process of manufacture are not practically identical with composition and machinery set forth in patents taken out in the years 1874 and 1881 by Mr. George Good of Yeovil; whether the patentee did not personally explain the details of his patent to the officials of Deptford Dockyard before any such machinery or composition was in use either in that yard or at Portsmouth; and, whether it is now proposed to make any compensation to the patentee?


It is a fact, Sir, that a process similar to that described by the hon. Member for Mid Somerset is adopted at our Dockyards in the preparation of twine. This process, however, has been in use for the last 15 years, and consequently antecedent to the date of which Mr. George Good is stated to have taken out his patent; the composition, moreover, used by the Admiralty is entirely different. In 1879 Mr. Good's offer of a personal inspection of his patent process was declined. The samples forwarded by Mr. Good were tested, but found in no way superior to the twine prepared in the Dockyard. Under these circumstances, it is not proposed to make any compensation to Mr. Good, as we do not allow that we make use of his patent. If there are further particulars which the hon. Member desires to know, I invite him to confer with me.


said, he would take the opportunity to do so. He should like, however, to ask whether Mr. Good had not been led to believe by letter that his claims would be recognized?


said, he would inquire into the subject.