§ MR. DICKINSON
said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for War, How many Military firearms have been sold during the past year, and how much was realized by the sale; whether he knows by whom and for what purpose they were bought, and what was their destination; whether facilities are not given by this system for providing with arms insurgents and others hostile to our own Government at home or in the Colonies, and to friendly Governments; and, whether it would not be better to render all Military weapons not required for the public service unserviceable, instead of selling them and being parties to their being used for purposes of legitimate or illegitimate warfare?
§ MR. CARDWELL
said, in reply, that the number of military firearms sold by the War Office during the past year was 18,850, and the amount realized £4,258. The purposes for which they were bought were known to the Department. He was not of opinion that facilities were given by that sale for providing with arms insurgents and others hostile to our own Government at home or in the Colonies, or friendly Governments, beyond what were given by ordinary trade. Indeed, he was of opinion that if we had an enemy in the field against us the best thing we could wish was that they should be armed with those weapons. He did not think it would be better to render all military weapons not required for the public service unsaleable, instead of selling them; because that would diminish the price received, without conducing to the general advantage of the State.