HC Deb 27 June 1884 vol 289 c1554

asked the Surveyor General of the Ordnance, with reference to Colonel Hope's offer to supply the Government with certain guns, Whether, if these guns performed all that their inventor claimed for them, the result would be a large saving of expense to the Country, and an. increase to the power of the armament carried by Her Majesty's ships; whether it was distinctly stated in Colonel Hope's offer to the Government that, if his guns, or any one of them, failed in fulfilling the specification contained in that offer, he would himself bear all the expense of the manufacture, ammunition, and trial of such failing gun or guns; and, whether it was further stated in Colonel Hope's offer that he— Accepted in advance any further conditions of trial within the energies stated, and that, regarding— All unforeseen objections that may be raised by either the Artillery or the Navy, he (Colonel Hope) was willing that in his contract with Government— General Lord Wolseley should be named sole arbitrator without appeal?


It is true that Colonel Hope has claimed for his guns the advantage that they would save a large expense and increase the power of the armament of ships. It is also true that Colonel Hope offered to bear all the expenses of construction in case of the failure of his guns, and to accept Lord Wolseley as arbitrator in the event of any difference arising between himself and the Department. Colonel Hope has been told that if he will produce a gun the War Office will give it a full trial; but the Secretary of State for War is not prepared to accept arbitration upon any question of difference arising respecting matters upon which he receives sufficient advice from a Committee composed of competent military and naval officers, assisted by two eminent civil engineers.