said, he wished to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty, How many tons of coal have been purchased for the Admiralty since the ap- pointment of the Buyer, and what sum has been paid to the Buyer for his services as salary and as percentage?
Sir, I have to state, in reply to my hon. and gallant Friend, that 188,888 tons of coal have been purchased, for the Admiralty during the past financial year since the appointment of the buyer, and during that period a sum of £1,695 has been paid to him as commission for assisting in purchasing, for viewing cargoes in South Wales and the North of England, and for inspecting and reporting upon the coaling arrangements, not only at all the dockyards, but at Portland, Milford Haven, and other places where there are depots, some of which arrangements were found to be very defective. Deducting this commission from the profit shown by the coal purchases of the last over the same quantity bought during the previous financial year, there remains a margin of £17,501 14s. 3d., being the clear saving in purchasing alone during one year of the present system as compared with the former. A detailed account of this comparative statement has been compiled, and is quite at the service of any hon. Member. We anticipate a further and much larger saving from the mixture of bituminous with anthracite coal.