HC Deb 27 November 1888 vol 331 cc304-5
MR. BANBURY (Preston)

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether it is the fact that two more workmen (making four in all), all of them juniors to Mr. Dunn, have been promoted to be viewers in the Ordnance Stores Department, over the head of Mr. Dunn, since he gave evidence before the Judge Advocate General's Commission; what, if anything, has transpired to negative the Judge Advocate General's verdict in favour of Mr. Dunn's fitness for the duties of viewer, which duties he had, in fact, formerly discharged, though without viewer's wages; if the Judge Advocate General's Report was correct, what are the precise reasons why a workman, who has done public service by directing public attention to gross irregularities in his Department, is four times denied the promotion for which the Special Commissioner of the Government reported his fitness; whether it is the fact that articles passed into the Government service by, and under, his present official superiors were subsequently, on the remonstrance of Mr. Dunn, examined afresh and condemned by independent experts to whom they were ordered to be submitted; and, which of his official superiors is responsible for the treatment which Mr. Dunn is receiving, and what is the reason assigned?

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

Two men junior to Mr. Dunn have been appointed lately viewers of accoutrements. Mr. Dunn, as a saddler and collar maker, was not qualified for promotion to these posts. My hon. Friend is doing no service to Mr. Dunn by these Questions. They compel me to remind the House that, during the present Session, Mr. Dunn caused complaints to be brought before this House of certain horsehair which was being used in the Service, which, on being submitted to an independent expert, was pronounced to be good and fit. But I am glad to say that Mr. Dunn's conduct generally has been such as to evoke the approval of his superior officers. He has been offered advancement in the Ordnance Factories, which he declined. Since then, within the last month, he has been recommended for promotion to a post carrying higher wages, which may possibly lead to subsequent promotion. I have called for Reports on his conduct, which have led me to think that this post should be offered to him. In answer to the last Question, I take the whole responsibility on myself in this matter.