§ CAPTAIN SELWYN (Cambridge, Wisbech)
asked the Financial Secretary for War whether he is aware that Major Harston, an officer of the Canadian Militia, gave up important business in Canada on receipt of a letter from the Surveyor General of Ordnance, 694 telling him "to convert three Martini rifles on his plan, and to send the bill for the work to the War Office"; whether his attention has been drawn to a letter of 11th June, 1888, in which the Director of Artillery told Major Harston to "work out the alterations and send them the bill for the work"; whether this work was under the supervision of the Special Committee on Small Arms, which recognized that Major Harston had successfully converted the Martini Henry rifle into a magazine rifle; whether the rifle so converted is fired with twice the rapidity of the new Government rifle; whether Major Harston has repeatedly applied for but received no payment for the work done under instructions from the War Office Authorities; and whether he is aware that the sum actually expended by Major Harston amounts to £1,395, and that the Special Committee on Small Arms expressed the opinion that the charges were most moderate?
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY FOR WAR (Mr. BRODRICK,) Surrey, Guildford
All the circumstances connected with Major Harston's claim have been submitted to the Secretary of State, who has referred the case to the Solicitor to the Treasury. As soon as his opinion reaches the War Office, the case will be settled without any unnecessary delay.
§ MR. HANBURY (Preston)
May I ask the hon. Gentleman whether, considering the necessity of securing the fair treatment of inventors, he will lay on the Table the correspondence which has taken place in this case, and give Members an opportunity of seeing it?