HC Deb 03 April 1905 vol 144 cc118-9
*SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)

I beg to ask the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether he can inform the House how it was that at the time of the debate on the Army Clothing Vote he had not seen the Report on the Army Clothing Factory by the principal Lady Inspector of Factories under the Home Office, which had been seen by private Members on the Government side of the House; and whether he had applied for it in view of the debate.


I did not see the Report because it was not sent to me, nor, as far as I am aware, to anyone else. I understand that the Report is not yet complete, and the Home Office is waiting for a further Report from their lady inspector before communicating with the War Department, in accordance with their usual practice. I am informed that the Reports of factory inspectors are confidential, and it is not the practice of the Home Office to send the actual Reports to the War Office or to any Department or individual outside the Home Office. I am not aware that the Report referred to had been, or has been, seen either by private Members on the Government side or by the right hon. Baronet, as is suggested, and I have no knowledge as to how the right hon. Baronet or the private Members to whom he refers, but does not name, obtained possession of, or access to, it—if they actually did so. As I was not aware of the existence of the Report I did not apply for it in view of the debate on the Army Clothing Vote.