§ SIR HOWARD VINCENT (Sheffield, Central)
I beg to ask the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether, in view of the fact that the nails required for Army shoeing were until recently mainly obtained from the United Horse Shoe and Nail Company, of Cubitt Town, London, E., he will state whether any notice was given them that nails narrower and thinner in the shanks with larger heads were preferred by the Veterinary Department before placing the contract elsewhere; and whether he can inform the House if the contract has now been given mainly to foreign firms.
It is not the case that the nails required for Army shoeing were until recently mainly obtained from the firm in question. For the three years ending 31st March, 1898, their orders amounted to about one-eighth of the total orders placed, and represented 1029 about £200 in value. In 1898 it was decided that the nails supplied by this firm were unsuitable for the service and the War Office discontinued the purchase of them. I am not aware that the firm made any representation to the War Office on the subject. They have during the war been given several opportunities of quoting for nails of the sizes required but have not done so.
§ [No answer was given.]