§ ADMIRAL FIELD (Sussex, Eastbourne)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether there is at the Admiralty any letter or other document, signed by Admiral Colomb, reserving or claiming to reserve the right of supplying his night-signal apparatus to Her Majesty's Fleet; whether the Admiralty have taken the supply out of Admiral Colomb's hands and put it out to public contract; whether Admiral Colomb is now reaping any pecuniary benefit whatever from the use of his system of signals in Her Majesty's Fleet; and whether, in 1867, when the apparatus and system of flashing signals were adopted by the Admiralty, Lieutenant (now Admiral) Colomb's patent secured him any rights whatever against the Crown?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (Lord G. HAMILTON,) Middlesex, Ealing
There was no such formal reservation, but Admiral Colomb was the sole contractor with the Government for the supply of his patented signal lamps. He was not restricted from supplying 1466 his lamps to the public or foreign navies. The Admiralty propose for the future to place their orders for this apparatus by public contract. I am not aware that the gallant Admiral is deriving at present any direct pecuniary advantages from the use of his system of signals in the Navy. The patent taken out by Admiral Colomb secured him no rights against the Crown.
§ ADMIRAL FIELD
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether the War Office, during the continuance of Admiral Colomb's patent for signal apparatus, took the supply out of his hands and put it out to public contract; and whether Admiral Colomb is now reaping any pecuniary benefit whatever from the use of his system of signals in the Army?
§ *THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. E. STANHOPE,) Lincolnshire, Horncastle
It is not admitted that more than a small portion of the apparatus used in Army signalling is attributable to Admiral Colomb's inventions, and it has been held that his rights over that portion have been fully purchased by the award of £500 which was made to him. Beyond that payment in the past I am not aware that Admiral Colomb is reaping any benefit on account of the system of Army signalling.