HC Deb 06 August 1888 vol 329 cc1693-4
MR. D. A. THOMAS (Merthyr Tydvil)

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether there is any, and what, Rule in regard to paid Government officials taking out patents; whether Patent No. 14,803, applied for on November 15, 1886, was granted to Sir Frederick Augustus Abel for a manufacture of smokeless explosive, he being at that time chemist to the War Office; and, whether he is still chemist to the War Office, patentee of a smokeless explosive, and at the same time Chairman of a Committee appointed to report upon the merits of various explosives submitted to the War Office as suitable for Her Majesty's Service?

THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. E. STANHOPE) (Lincolnshire, Horncastle)

A War Office official, before taking out a patent, is required to have the sanction of the Secretary of State. In November, 1886, Sir Frederick Abel, then chemist to the War Department, patented a smokeless explosive; and he states that he did so for the purpose of reserving to the War Department the right of making and using it. Sir Frederick Abel has ceased to be War Department chemist; but he is president of the Committee on Explosives, which would decide on the merits of explosives submitted to the War Office.