I beg to ask the Financial Secretary to the War Office can he say when the fifty million Mark IV. bullets which were broken up were manufactured, and what was the cost.
I beg also to ask the Secretary of State for War if he will state in what respect the forty-five and a half millions of Mark IV. bullets were defective, were they made to specification, who were the contractors, and how much was expended in their manufacture.
I am afraid that the hon. Members are under some misapprehension. It was found that the nickel envelopes of the Mark IV. bullets occasionally stuck in the barrels, and that then the lead core was squirted through the envelope—a process known as stripping. Ft was accordingly decided to discontinue the construction of the Mark IV. cartridges, and four and a half millions of unused bullets were broken up. The cartridges in stock are being gradually used up in practice. The Mark IV. bullets were made to specification by ordnance factories and by various contractors. The exact cost cannot be ascertained.
Will the noble Lord answer the latter part of my question, and give the names of the contractors, as well as state how much money was expended in the manufacture of these fifty millions of bullets?
They were made by various contractors, and the exact cost cannot be ascertained. I am afraid I can add nothing to my answer.
Were they made in Germany?
How many of the bullets were made by the Ordnance Department?
Order, order! The noble Lord has said he can add nothing to his answer.