§ MR. WEIR
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether, having regard to the fact that a sum of £92,447 16s. l0½d. was expended on jigs, gauges, cutters, drills, and other special tools for the production of the Lee-Metford magazine rifle, he will state what number of magazine rifles were manufactured during the year 1891–2, or give the proportion which each rifle manufactured during that period bears to £18,489 11s 1728 4½d. written off as depreciation on such jigs, gauges, cutters, drills, and other special tools for the year 1891–2; and whether any material alteration has been found necessary in the jigs, gauges, cutters, drills, and other special tools for the year 1891–2; or whether any of them have been abandoned since the manufacture of the Lee-Metford rifle was started; if so, what has been the outlay on such alterations or for abandoned jigs, gauges, cutters, drills, and other special tools, and why is no separate account given of such outlays in the annual accounts of the Ordnance Factories for the year 1891–2?
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE WAR OFFICE (Mr. WOODALL,) Hanley
The production of magazine rifles in the Ordnance Factories in 1891–2 was 71,554; so that the depreciation on special tools amounted to about 5s. 2d. per arm produced. There have been certain alterations involved by the adoption of an improved pattern. These changes were completed in 1892–3, in the accounts of which year their costs will be duly shown.