HC Deb 06 May 1915 vol 71 cc1257-8
60. Mr. PETO

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether a notice has been sent to all farriers who have been engaged in making horse-shoes for the Army that no further hand-made horse-shoes will be required after 30th April; whether he can state where the future supply is being drawn from; and whether he is aware that the working farriers of the South of England were appealed to in November last to put forth their utmost exertions to supply the Army with horseshoes, and in response have not only produced a very large quantity but have stocked large quantities of iron which the decision of the War Office leaves on their hands?


A notice was sent to the farriers that no further handmade horse-shoes would be required after 30th April, and this date was subsequently extended to 31st July on receipt of information that some farriers had laid in stocks of iron which would otherwise be left on their hands. Orders have been placed in this country for all the machine-made shoes that can be obtained, and further orders have been placed in America. I regret the necessity, but the change is due to urgent representations by the military authorities that machine-made shoes are more satisfactory for shoeing in the field.


Is it not the fact that nearly all the defects in the hand-made shoe supplied are due to defects in the patent supplied, and not to the execution of the work?


I think those in the field are well able to judge as to that.


Does the hon. Gentleman make any inquiry as to the patents supplied to those engaged in the hand-made industry? Are those patents open to the criticism which has been passed upon them by officers in the field?


I know the matter has been fully investigated; but I shall be very glad to have the special point of the right hon. Gentleman examined.