HC Deb 18 July 1872 vol 212 cc1362-3

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether, having regard to the recent murder of Captain and Adjutant Laurie, of the 108th Regiment, by Private Butler, he has issued, or intends to issue, instructions to Her Majesty's Forces in India (similar to those existing in England) forbidding the carrying of ball ammunition by the men when off duty?


The Government of India has not told us that it proposes to make any change in consequence of the murder alluded to by my hon. Friend, and the wisdom or unwisdom of allowing soldiers when off duty to carry ball ammunition depends so entirely upon considerations of which the authorities on the spot can judge and we cannot, that the Secretary of State would be most unwilling in any way to interfere. Of course, the position of the individual soldier in India is quite different from what it is in England, and his danger, if inefficiently armed, is far greater. I can assure my hon. Friend that the Commander-in-Chief in India is quite alive to the importance of the subject.