HC Deb 25 February 1886 vol 302 cc1211-2

asked the Secretary of State for War, What steps have been taken to obtain the entire quantity of Cavalry swords from manufacturers of steel cutting tools in this country; whether tenders for the supply of Cavalry swords were advertised for in The Times and other newspapers; and, whether applications have been made during 1885, by letter or otherwise, to manufacturers of steel cutting tools in England, and how many such applications were made and sent to Sheffield, Birmingham, or other towns in this country?


No steps were taken to invite the manufacturers of steel cutting tools to tender for the supply of swords. The sword of 1885, introduced upon the Report of the Committee of which the hon. Gentleman was a Member, has to sustain a test in advance of any to which swords had hitherto been subjected by the War Department; and it was not considered probable that weapons which would stand such a test could be produced in sufficient numbers by firms which had never made swords. For what were regarded as sufficient reasons, it was not thought advisable to advertise the requirements; but the Department will gladly welcome any desire of English manufacturers to address themselves to the task of producing the whole quantity of swords from time to time required; and if my hon. Friend will confer with me on the subject I will undertake to afford him all reasonable facilities and encouragement.