§ 33. Mr. O'GRADY
asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether the 1908 Infantry equipment was adopted on ideas submitted by Colonel (then Major) Burrowes, of the Royal Irish Fusiliers; whether this officer placed his ideas entirely at the disposal of the War Office in 1903; whether Burrowes' design was eventually patented in 1906 by the Mills Equipment Company, at present contractors for supplying this article; whether the Mills Equipment Company are now in a position to exact royalties from the War Office and from other firms manufacturing the article on their patent; and will he state the reason for the War Office agreeing to a private company patenting an invention handed ever by an officer on active service to the Department?
§ Mr. FORSTER
I am afraid that my hon. Friend has been misinformed. Colonel Burrowes' design was adopted as the most suitable, but it could only be satisfactorily carried out in web material by employing a special weaving process belonging to the Mills Equipment Company. Colonel Burrowes was, therefore, allowed to enter into arrangements with the Mills Equipment Company, under which he was remunerated by them in return for the right to use his design. The royalties payable to this firm are partly in respect of Colonel Burrowes' design and partly in respect of the use of their special weaving process.