§ COLONEL BRIDGEMAN (Bolton)
asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether his attention has been drawn to a statement which appeared in The Standard of the 7th instant, alleging that a tender for 500,000 cartridges for Queensland having been sent in to the War Office an hour or two too late, the order was given to a German; and, whether there is any foundation for the statement?
§ THE SURVEYOR GENERAL OF THE ORDNANCE (Mr. NORTHCOTE) (Exeter)
(who replied) said: There is an absolute rule in the War Office that if a time is fixed for the reception of tenders, those received later are not considered. The contract in question was given to a well-known firm, whose tender was the lowest, and, I may add, considerably lower than that of the firm to which reference is made in the statement in The Standard newspaper. The patent is, I understand, a German one; but the firm whose tender was accepted have positively assured the Director of Contracts that the metal for the cartridges will be rolled at Birmingham, and the cartridges made on their own premises.
§ MR. HANBURY
May I ask whether Messrs. Latimer, Clark, Muirhead, and Co., are not merely a commission house, acting as agents for a firm at Carlsruhe, and themselves employing only 16 hands, and no mechanics among them?
§ MR. NORTHCOTE
I cannot say what number of men they have in their employment; but if the hon. Gentleman will put the Question on the Paper, I 1082 will endeavour to answer it. I am assured that they manufacture their own goods, though the patent is German.