§ MR. HANBURY (Preston)
asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether a contract has been given to Messrs. Wilkinson for about 150,000 sword bayonets; whether they are of the same pattern as those against which the Royal Commission has recently reported; what is the price, length, and strength of these bayonets; whether they are intended for use on the Henry-Martini or the proposed new rifle; and, if the latter, what portions of the new rifle have been already decided upon, so as to justify the order for so large a number of the bayonets which will be attached to them?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. E. STANHOPE) (Lincolnshire, Horncastle)
Yes, Sir; a contract has been given to Messrs. Wilkinson for 150,000 sword bayonets. No adverse Report on the Enfield- Martini sword bayonets was made by the recent Royal Commission. It is not desirable, in the interests of the contractors, to publish the price to be given for these bayonets; but I shall have no objection to state the same privately to my hon. Friend. The length of the blade is 18¼ inches, and it must stand a vertical pressure of not less than 160 lb. before deviating from the perpendicular; also to be sprung round a curved block (depth of curve 2¼ inches), and to stand a spring of 1 inch without taking a permanent set; also to be struck flatwise on back and edge in a mechanical striking machine, the weight of each blow to be from 168 lb. to 170 lb. These bayonets will answer either for the Martini-Henry or for the new rifle. This supply has been ordered to meet the demands of the Navy, and to provide bayonets for arms which will be ready by the time this contract is completed.