29 JULY 1905, Page 3

On Friday week Lord Stanley, who was Financial Secretary at

the War Office up till October, 1903, gave his evidence before the War Stores Commission. He admitted that the Bergl Cold Storage contract was financed by a syndicate, and that it was probable that the De Beers Company and Mr. Rhodes were in it, but declared that this was only an added guarantee of its financial stability. If this was the "shadowy personality" of the Butler Report, he "would have been glad to have it in any contract for the Govern- ment." On the question of Mr. Flynn's mission to South Africa, he contended that that official had full authority to go into any financial matters that wanted clearing up. It was Mr. Flynn's duty to inquire into all contracts made before his arrival. The post of Financial Adviser had been abolished on General Lyttelton's advice and with the approval of the Secretary of State ; he could offer no opinion on the wisdom of a policy which was recommended by the local authority. As for sales to the Repatriation Department, strict orders had been given that nothing was to be sold till Lord Milner had had all he required ; but they could not compel Lord Milner to take what lie did not need. With regard to the "forward contracts," it was impossible to cancel all contracts after peace, and Lord Kitchener imagined that he was going to have an enormous demand for surplus goods, the country being destitute of supplies. They did not at the time contemplate buying back supplies sold, since they believed that the needs of the country would absorb them. He concluded by declaring that in his opinion the Returns which it was the business of the branch F4 to secure would have been of material service in keeping things straight.