§ MR. BOORD (Greenwich)
asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether it is the fact that officers commanding-Volunteer Regiments are refused permission to purchase accoutrements and stores which, although condemned as unfit for the Regular Forces, are serviceable for the Volunteers; whether such accoutrements are sold by auction for a trifling sum, and are regularly bought up by certain Jewish firms to whom Volunteer Officers who inquire for them are referred; and, whether, by this means, the cost of such articles to Volunteers is raised by nearly 600 per cent?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. E. STANHOPE) (Lincolnshire, Horncastle)
Accoutrements returned by the troops are in a very bad state, as a rule, and they are not sold until those which are considered worth repairing are picked out for issue to the Militia. The remainder are sold in large lots, and realize very small prices. I doubt very much whether, even with the most careful picking out, any of them would be found to be of use to the Volunteers. But I will undertake to look into the matter.
§ MR. HANBURY (Preston)
asked, Whether it was not true that a great deal of the clothing sold was actually new, and had never been used by the troops at all; whether the stores were not brought from the different depôts to Woolwich, instead of being offered for sale in the neighbourhood of the depôts, where probably a better price would be given; and, whether the stores were not all sold in one or two large contracts, so as to shut out competition?