I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been called to the statement telegraphed from Durban that a document was issued at Pretoria for the private information of the members of the Volksraad, to the effect that the Boer Government placed large orders for guns with Messrs. Krupp and an Austrian firm so early as 1894; whether any guns have yet been constructed at the British Government factories of such rapidity of fire and extended range as those stated to have been supplied by Messrs. Creusot to the Boers, and now used by them; whether there are now with the Army in South Africa any Vickers-Maxim guns firing a shell; and whether there is any reason to believe the statement that the Boers now possess between 220 and 230 heavy guns and field pieces in place of the 110 with which they have been credited.
* THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE WAR OFFICE (Mr. J. POWELL-WILLIAMS,for Mr. WYNDHAM) Birmingham, S.,
The document referred to in Paragraph 1 has not reached the War Office, but it is known to be the case that orders for armament were placed by the Boers in Europe as early as 1894. In regard to Paragraph 2 there is every reason to believe that our guns are equal to any guns of similar nature possessed by the enemy. It does not seem expedient to answer the further portion of the hon. Member's question.
§ [No answer was given.]