I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that General Noble, R.A., who died lately from a sickness contracted on active service in India while Superintendent of the Powder Factories, leaves a widow and a large family in not too affluent circumstances; if he is aware that General Noble was the inventor of two brown powders, S.B.C. and E.X.E., and also the patentee of E.X.E., the patent of which now belongs to his widow; if, in consideration of the large amount of powder, 12,000,000 lbs., made on General Noble's plan, the War Office strongly recommended that his widow should receive an increased pension of —200 a year, and if the Treasury has refused this increase; and if the War Office will again recommend that either this pension should be awarded or else that a royalty of 1d. a pound should be paid on E.X.E. powder, patent 16,575, 1886, to General Noble's family?
§ *MR. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
The Ordnance Council recommended that Mrs. Noble's pension should be increased by —200 a year. This recommendation was based, not upon the value of any patents, nor on the amount of powder produced, but on the excellent service Major General Noble had rendered in introducing improvements in gunpowder and its manufacture, and generally on his work as Superintendent of the Royal Gunpowder Factory. The granting of such pensions rests entirely with the Treasury, and that Department was not satisfied that any special pension was justified in this case.