HC Deb 17 March 1893 vol 10 cc416-7

4. £100, Army (Ordnance Factories) Excesses, 1890–91.


asked, would the reduction which was contemplated in the establishments at Enfield and Spark brook, and which were calculated to save the country about £100,000, not have the effect of increasing the cost of rifles to be produced by 10s. per rifle, resulting in a loss of something like £20,000 on these weapons?


My hon. Friend is not correct in saying I am making a reduction calculated to produce a saving of a large sum of money, or that I am making an artificial reduction. We are coming to a period when we must contemplate a reduction in the necessities of the supply regarding these weapons, and therefore we thought it necessary to slacken off a little earlier. That is the reason for the reduction. When the hon. Member says that this reduction increases the cost of the rifle, I have to say it does not increase the cost of the rifle itself. The rifle will apparently cost more, because you will have a certain number of charges spread over a fewer number of rifles. Supposing these charges are to go on, whether we make 100,000 or 200,000 rifles, the only result of any other policy would be that, while we shall make what has been of late years the normal number of rifles and other weapons during the present year, we shall next year have a much larger falling off, and the prices during next year would be even larger and more increased than the hon. Member puts.

Vote agreed to.

5. £100, Army (Ordnance Factories) Excesses, 1891–92.