HC Deb 17 March 1898 vol 55 cc94-5

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War (1) whether he can inform the House if the French shells both for the naval and field guns are filled with melinite; (2) whether melinite is safer than other high explosives to handle, is less affected by temperature, less liable to deterioration by lapse of time, and will not explode by a severe concussion; (3) whether exhaustive trials were carried out by the War Office during the administration, of the late Mr. Edward Stanhope, and valuable results obtained; (4) whether the trials were continued, and if so with what results; and (5) what has become of the Report?


It is understood that a percentage of the shells used in the French Field Artillery and Navy are filled with melinite. As regards the points named in the second paragraph of my noble Friend's Question there is no substantial difference between melinite and other explosives. Exhaustive trials were made with high explosives, with the result that the one considered the best has been adopted for the British service. The Reports on the subject are confidential.