HC Deb 22 June 1882 vol 271 c24

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether between one and two hundred thousand Government rifles were sold by the War Department in the year 1878 to a person of the name of Hill, in Sheffield, and by him shipped to Ireland and sold in the course of the year 1879; whether the Irish Government urged the War Department to repurchase these arms, so as to prevent their unadvised distribution in Ireland; and, what reply was made by the War Department to that application of the Irish authorities?


Yes, Sir; between 100,000 and 200,000 muzzle - loading rifles were sold by the War Department in 1878. There were 21 purchasers, but I do not find the name of Hill among them; nor has the War Department any knowledge as to what became of these rifles after delivery to the buyers. As to the two last Questions, there was some correspondence between my Predecessor and the late Irish Government on this subject after the sale; but as it resulted in nothing I do not think that any public advantage would be gained by describing what passed.