§ MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)
I beg to ask the Financial Secretary to the War Office, whether a preliminary contract was entered into by the Imperial Yeomanry Committee with Mr. Vickers to deliver 2,000 Hungarian horses at Cape Town for £49 15s., which was subsequently reduced to 1,000 horses; whether Mr. Vickers informed 986 Colonel St. Quintin that he had made a personal contract with Mr. Van Laun to transport the horses from Fiume or Trieste to Cape Town for £16 per head; whether, when the Yeomanry Committee declined to sign a definite contract with Mr. Vickers, a contract was signed by it with Mr. Van Laun to transport 1,500 Hungarian horses from Fiume to Cape Town at £18 10s. per head, and 2,500 at £20 per head; and, if so, can he explain why this higher price was paid.
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE WAR OFFICE (Lord STANLEY,) Lancashire, Westhoughton
A discussion took place with Mr. Vickers in reference to a proposal to deliver 2,000 Hungarian horses at Cape Town at £35 each. This was subsequently raised to £49 15s., it being found impossible to provide the horses at the lower price, but no contract was entered into with Mr. Vickers at one sum or the other. Nothing is known of his alleged communication to Colonel St. Quintin. A contract was subsequently entered into with Messrs. Van Laun & Co. for the supply of transport for all the horses purchased for the Imperial Yeomanry in Hungary, in full cargoes on first-class British steamers from Fiume or Trieste, at £26 3s. 4d. per head for the first 1,500, and £28 per head for all over that number, inclusive of the supply of fodder, water, fittings, attendance, and insurance to Cape Town, and also victualling and transport of attendants from Szabadka to the ship.
§ MAJOR RASCH (Essex, Chelmsford)
May I ask whether it is not a fact that all the Yeomanry Committee have been decorated for their valuable services in this matter?
§ [No answer was returned.]