HC Deb 08 May 1890 vol 344 cc453-4
MR. HANBURY (Preston)

I beg to ash the Financial Secretary for War why various firms have been allowed to tender for the supply of the Slade-Wallace equipment to the Army, but are not allowed to tender for its supply to the Volunteers except on payment of a royalty; whether it is the fact that large quantities of this equipment have been made for the Volunteers by Messrs. Ross; whether, in view of the intended employment of public funds for the equipment of the Volunteers, contractors who have been struck off the list of contractors to the War Office for bad work will still continue to be allowed to supply the Volunteers; and what are the terms as to royalty or other remuneration for the alleged invention on which the Slade-Wallace equipment is supplied to Her Majesty's Forces whether Regular or Volunteer?


Supplies for the Volunteers are purchased by the commanding officers and the War Office does not interfere, so that I do not know to what extent the Volunteers may have employed Messrs. Ross. It has been publicly and frequently announced that Messrs. Ross are off our list, and they will not be accepted by the War Office as contractors for any supplies to be obtained for the Volunteers out of public funds. A patent is claimed for the Slade-Wallace equipment, and if such patent is valid, the Volunteers demanding it are, under the opinion of the Law Officers, not entitled to avail themselves of the Crown Clauses of the Patent Act. The question of royalties is at present under consideration, and I hope that the Volunteers will be included in any arrangement made.


I beg to give notice that I will call attention to this subject on the Volunteer Vote.