HC Deb 05 August 1869 vol 198 c1292

said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for War, Whether his attention has been called to two recent instances of a Non-commissioned Officer, whilst in the execution of his duty, having been shot by a private Soldier; whether he is not of opinion that the perpetration of these crimes was facilitated by the custom of leaving ball ammunition in the possession of Soldiers; and, whether he considers that the efficiency of the Army would be impaired by the adoption of a system under which Soldiers would be in possession of ball ammunition only during the time when the duty they may be employed upon necessitates their being furnished with it?


Sir, this question was raised last Session of Parliament, and the decision then taken was to adhere to the existing practice. I think, however, it is impossible to deny that the constant possession of ball cartridge does give facility in a time of excitement for the perpretation of those crimes which we have occasion to deplore. I shall lose no time in considering what regulations it may be expedient to adopt for the purpose of obviating this evil; and my hon. Friend may rest assured that those regulations will be framed in such a manner as not to impair the efficiency of the Army.