HC Deb 28 July 1898 vol 63 cc310-1

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether his attention has been called to the case of the widow of Captain Theophilus Alexander Blakely, R.A., who was the first patentee of the "built-up" Blakely gun, who is now in somewhat straitened circumstances; whether he is aware that Mrs. Blakely sunk some £9,000 of her own money to assist her husband in his inventions; and whether, as a slight recognition of her husband's great services to this country in improving and developing its artillery, he will confer a pension upon her?


My attention has been called to the case of Captain Blakely, and I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of the statement contained in the second paragraph, though, in my opinion, I have no means of making independent investigation on that subject. As regards the last paragraph, I have to say that such inquiries as I have been able to make show that Captain Blakely was one of several inventors who about the same time independently hit on somewhat similar methods of improving artillery; but no guns made or strengthened on Captain Blakely's designs were ever introduced into the service, nor does any of his expenditure seem, to have been incurred at the instigation of, or in the interests of, the British Government. In these circumstances I should scarcely be justified in acceding to the request contained in the third paragraph of the Question.