§ LIEUTENANT-COLONEL SANDYS (Lancashire, S.W., Bootle)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether it is the case that the material of which our cannon powder cartridge bags is made, is all manufactured and imported from abroad; whether it can be at present manufactured in the United Kingdom; and, if so, whether he has any objection to take steps to promote the manufacture of this silk cloth material in England, in order that in the event of war our heavy ordnance may be supplied with cartridge bags made from materials of British manufacture?
§ MR. E. STANHOPE
The silk cloth used for cannon cartridges is of foreign, manufacture, and was adopted because it leaves no residue in the gun after firing. Some years ago two firms in. Bradford commenced manufacturing it, but ceased to do so because they could not approach the foreign prices. We have, however, a standing contract with Messrs. Cochrane, of Paisley, for the supply of 300 yards per fortnight, and endeavours have been made to induce some Nottinghamshire firms to take up the manufacture. A considerable stock of this silk cloth is always 1501 kept up so as to be secure against emergencies.