HC Deb 18 June 1888 vol 327 c424
MR. ERNEST BECKETT (York, N.R., Whitby)

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether he has discovered who was responsible for sending guns to Aden without sights; whether he intends to call the delinquent to account for his negligence; and, what he proposes to do to prevent, as far as he can, a recurrence of such negligence in the future?

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

These were guns of a new description, and some delay arose in making sights owing to a question of pattern. As the latter are small articles, readily fixed and always packed separately from the guns, the officer whose duty it was to despatch the stores considered that it was best to forward the guns, which would take some time to mount, without waiting till the sights were ready. And as he had every reason to feel confident that, as the guns would take some time to mount, the sights could be sent out in ample time, I do not feel called upon to visit his conduct with censure. But this omission was not reported to the Director of Artillery at the time, as it should have been; and I have taken due notice of the omission. Steps have been taken to secure that, in future, all essential fittings for guns shall be ready for despatch as soon as the guns themselves.