HC Deb 17 March 1905 vol 143 cc334-5

To ask the Secretary of State for War whether, at the time the orders for the supply of jam to South Africa were placed by the War Office through the Agents-General for the Colonies, any communication or report was made by such Agents to the War Office as to the names of the parties supplying, and as to the terms and conditions of such supply; and, if not, when and how did the War Office first become aware thereof.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Arnold-Forster.) As the orders were placed with the Colonial authorities through their Agents-General the names of the firms who enabled the colony to carry out its engagements did not concern the War Office. The Colonies did not, as a rule, furnish such information. The terms and conditions of supply were settled between the War Office and the Agents-General. In some cases nominal weights were agreed to, in other cases net weights were specified. The present inquiry was raised by the fact that certain stocks of jam in South Africa, which were regarded as consisting of net weights, were subsequently reported to contain only nominal weights.


To ask the Secretary of State for War when, by whom, and why, were the orders for jam supplied to South Africa placed with the Agents-General for the Colonies.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Arnold-Forster.) Orders were placed at various dates between November, 1900, and April, 1902. They were placed by the Director of Contracts under instructions from the Secretary of State for War, and with the consent of the Quartermaster-General. The object in view was to meet the Iequirements of the troops in South Africa, and, at the pressing request of the Colonial Governments, to give the Colonies an opportunity of participating in the contracts for supplies.