§ MR. HOWELL (Denbigh Boroughs)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether, of 226 pairs of boots supplied by a well-known Government contractor for the use in South Africa of the volunteer contingent of the Worcestershire Regiment, over forty pairs were condemned as utterly unfit for use within four days of delivery, whether 100 more pairs were shortly afterwards condemned for the same reason, and whether the remaining pairs were of an inferior quality usually sold for one-third the price paid in this case; and whether a report to this effect has been received by the War Office; and, if so, whether the contractor who supplied such defective goods is still on the War Office list, and whether, if a report to the above effect has not yet been received, an inquiry will be made into the circumstances of the above contract.
§ * MR. WYNDHAM
A report has been received of the unsatisfactory character of the supplies furnished by Messrs. Samuels to the Volunteer contingent of the Worcestershire Regiment. The order was given by the Volunteer Corps, and not through the War Office. The Contract Branch was not consulted. The goods would be paid for out of the corps funds. In consequence of their conduct in this matter the contractors have been removed from the War Office list. They have not had any dealings with the Department for some years.