§ Mr. WARDLE
asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office on what grounds the price paid to farriers in the North of England for the manufacture of horseshoes is only 35s. per cwt., while similar shoes are paid for in South Wales at prices ranging from 46s. to 56s. per cwt.; whether representations have been made to him on behalf of the northern farriers, who have higher wages to pay and who are unable to supply shoes at the former price; and whether the War Office will, in view of the shortage of supply, pay the same rates in the North as they do in the Swansea district?
The rate of 35s. per cwt. for horseshoes was arrived at after negotion with the farriery trade and has been generally acceptable. It was fixed on the basis of sixty-five shoes to the cwt., which is the average weight of the large and small shoes for Army requirements. The higher rates to which the hon. Member refers, namely 46s. to 56s. per cwt., are the rates for Army mule shoes, which range from eighty-four to the cwt. to 163 to the cwt. This difference in cost is accounted for by the fact that these shoes are more difficult to make than horseshoes and the risk of rejections is greater.