§ MR. SYDNEY GEDGE (Walsall)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether inasmuch as when, on the 2nd ult., a hundredweight of cordite was fired in the open 1580 air in Woolwich Arsenal, twelve other hundredweights securely done up in twelve separate cases, and not in contact with the hundredweight which was intentionally fired, instantly detonated, and that the detonation was of the true shattering nature characteristic of nitroglycerine and gun-cotton, and made a hole in the solid ground some 15 feet deep, it is intended to put it inside big guns or to carry it onboard Her Majesty's ships?
*THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE WAR OFFICE (Mr. POWELL-WILLIAMS,) Birmingham
The circumstances of the late experiment were not quite as stated in my hon. Friend's question. Twelve metal cases, each containing about 130lb. of small cordite not made into cartridges were stacked together, forming a pile in close contact. One was fired, whereupon the mass exploded. These cases were not, however, packed with cordite under service conditions—that is, with cartridges made up of the sized cordite in use for heavy guns. Cartridges of cordite will continue to be used and carried on board Her Majesty's ships.