§ MR. HANBURY (Preston)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War what number of magazine rifles have already been manufactured, and how many it is expected will be completed before the end of this year by private manufacturers, and in the Government Factory respectively; what number of sets of the Slade-Wallace equipment have already been manufactured for the Army and Volunteers respectively, and how many will, it is expected, be so completed before the end of the year; whether he will be able to arrive at a decison as to the alleged patents in connection with a new rifle and a new equipment, which have already been so largely manufactured, before the vote for them is taken; and how many of the patents taken out in connection with the magazine rifle stand in the names of persons in Government employment?
§ *MR. E. STANHOPE
I am not able, consistently with the public interests, to state the numbers made and expected of the magazine rifle; but if my hon. Friend wishes it, I shall be happy to communicate them to him privately. As regards the Slade-Wallace equipment, 19,314 sets have been received, and 60,400 more are expected before the end of the year. These are for the Regular 1116 Forces. The Volunteers buy their own. A decision as to the patents affecting the Slade-Wallace equipment will, I hope, be arrived at very shortly. The case of the magazine rifle will take longer, and must be considered by the Ordnance Council. Four patents in connection with the magazine rifle stand in the names of persons in Government employment, but their validity has not at present been recognised.