§ MR. CHANCE (Kilkenny, S.)
asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether he will make arrangements for the issue to the public of a limited number of the new Martini-Enfield .400 rifles, with ammunition, on payment of four pounds for each rifle and ten shillings for each hundred rounds of ammunition, in order to subject the new arm to independent criticism?
THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN)&c.) (Stirling,
The pattern of the new rifle which has been approved by the Military Authorities was elaborated, after numerous experiments, by a committee of officers thoroughly conversant with the requirements of the Service. As an additional precaution, a tentative issue of 1,000 rifles will be made to the troops in order to see if they may require alteration in any minor points. Under these circumstances, I do not consider that it will be necessary to resort to the plan suggested by the hon. Member.