MR. HANBURF (Preston)
I beg to ask the Financial Secretary for War what contracts and for what total number of bayonets have been made with 1130 Messrs. Wilkinson, and what number of bayonets have been delivered under such contracts; whether, subsequent to the respective contracts or any of them being originally made, any alterations were made in the shape of the bayonets or the test to which they were to be submitted; and whether the short bayonets or knives now being used with the new magazine rifle are those for which the first contract was given to Messrs. Wilkinson?
THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY FOE WAR (Mr. BEODEICK,) Surrey, Guildford
Only one contract has been made with Messrs. Wilkinson for bayonets, namely, for 150,000. Originally they were to have been of the pattern known as the Enfield Martini, 1877, and to a specification dated September, 1888; 42,000 were made under this order. In September, 1889, it was decided that the remaining 108,000 should be made of the 1888 pattern, and to a revised specification, which was sent to the contractors on November 11, 1889. These are the short bayonets used with the magazine rifle, for which the test naturally differs from that of the longer weapon of the 1887 pattern. Consequently, the bayonets ordered in 1889 are not those for which the original contract was made.