§ 43. Sir A. MARKHAM
asked the Under - Secretary of State for War whether the Colt machine gun is the type adopted by the United States Government for the nee of their army and navy and also by other Governments; whether a firm's offer of 20,000 of these machine guns, rifled to take British ammunition, was made to the War Office early last February, delivery to be completed of all the guts in five and a half months under a penalty of 1,000,000 dollars lodged in an American bank; if so, will he say why this offer was rejected; whether the War Office still consider this type of gun unsuitable; and whether he is aware that large orders have already been placed by the Minister of Munitions for these same guns since he was appointed to his office?
§ Mr. FORSTER
As far as I have been able to ascertain, no such offer was received. Various offers of contracts for the manufacture of Colt guns have been made at different dates, but they were declined for the reason that the gun was not suitable for our purpose.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the first offer was made on 30th December by Major Banks of 10,000 guns, 2,000 for immediate delivery—except for boring—and this was increased on 20th February, and that Major Banks had written on behalf of the American syndicate which was making these guns?
§ Mr. FORSTER
As I have already informed my hon. Friend, I am not aware that this offer to which he refers in his question was ever received.