§ 33. Mr. HOUSTON
asked the Minister of Munitions whether he is aware that one of the most destructive and effective shells used by the Germans against our trenches is a cast-iron shell filled with high explosives and that this shell is more easily, cheaply, and quickly produced than our steel shrapnel shells; and will he arrange that our troops are promptly provided with an abundant supply of the same class of shell as the Germans are using, or an improved type, which will be effective against wire entanglements and entrenchments, thereby putting our troops on at least level terms with the Germans?
§ Mr. TENNANT
I am not aware that the most destructive and effective shells used by the Germans are made of cast iron. I would point out to the hon. Member that there is no lack of production of shell bodies and that it is the production of other components that entirely governs the output. Whether, therefore, 534 the shell is made of cast iron or of forged steel, and there are technical objections to the former, the complete round of ammunition would not be produced with greater rapidity. I deprecate the suggestion contained in the final paragraph of the hon. Member's question.
§ Mr. HOUSTON
Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that the German Government are making millions of cast-iron shells, and that only recently they placed an order with the Allgemeine Electricitats Gesellschapt for 26,000,000 of these shells? Is the right hon. Gentleman also not aware that the machinery for turning out our present shells is limited—