HC Deb 27 April 1871 vol 205 c1769

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether the musketry drill of the troops stationed at Chatham has to be performed at Chatham instead of the Milton Barracks, owing to those barracks, which were specially built for the use of troops going through their course of musketry instruction at the Milton Ranges, being occupied by troops not so employed; and, whether he considers the Musketry Regulations, Part I. paragraph 4; Part II. paragraph 3; and Part III. paragraphs 5 and 6, with reference to the presence of the officer-instructors, can be properly carried out under these conditions?


Sir, I am not sure how far the House will wish to go into the details of military discipline; but I have obtained from the Quartermaster General the following answer:—The preliminary drills only are performed at Chatham. There is ample accommodation at Milton Barracks both for musketry requirements and for the troops now stationed there; but, even were it not so, as a matter of discipline it has been found most inexpedient that the preliminary drills should be gone through at Milton, because a company was there often kept off duty a fortnight or more, after finishing the preliminary drill referred to in Part III., paragraphs 5 and 6 of the Musketry Regulations, when the company firing was not able to finish its practice on account of the state of the weather. This arrangement is carried on with the full concurrence of the Inspector General of Musketry, and, therefore, the paragraphs quoted in the Question are not in any way neglected. On the contrary, they are strictly complied with.