HC Deb 31 May 1916 vol 82 cc2698-9
41 and 42. Mr. COWAN

asked the Under-Secretary for War (1) whether he is aware that a salesman and demonstrator of extincteurs who holds Army rank has been recently ordered to make fire inspections at certain camps, and is being officially described as late chief of fire brigades, Pretoria; whether the Quartermaster-General is aware that this person's association with the Pretoria Fire Brigade was limited approximately to the period of the military occupation, first in the capacity of fireman and temporarily as an acting superintendent; and whether he has sanctioned this person being officially described in a manner which leads Army officers who meet him to regard him as an officer of recent technical experience and professional standing; and (2) whether he is aware that a person who from 1904 to 1914 was employed as a salesman and demonstrator of fire extincteurs has been recently engaged in the Quartermaster-General's Department to deal with matters of fire protection generally; whether the Quartermaster-General is aware of this intimate association with certain extincteur makers; and will he explain why a person with this trade connection is considered suitable for assisting the Quartermaster-General on general matters of fire inspection largely of an engineering character, where professional skill, integrity, and independence of all trade influence are essential?


An officer serving in the Army who has had experience as superintendent of civil and military fire brigades in Pretoria for two years during the South African War, and similar experience later, and who was also in business connected with fire appliances for some years but now has no connection with the trade, has been appointed on the Staff of the Quarter master-General as inspector of fire services for hutted camps, etc. His duties are to inspect, to see whether orders issued are carried out, and to report. He has no administrative functions beyond these. I am glad to be able to inform the House that this officer is doing good service in the capacity I have described.