HC Deb 01 April 1887 vol 313 cc221-2
MR. M'CARTAN (Down, S.)

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether his attention has been called to a report in The Newtownards Chronicle of the 19th instant, of a special meeting of the Newtownards Town Commissioners, convened for the purpose of taking into consideration the removal from their town of the North Down Militia for annual training; whether he can state the number of years during which the North Down Militia have been brought to Newtownards for their annual training there; whether General Moore, late Commander of the 83rd Regimental District, was assured by a deputation from the Town Commissioners that it was their desire to have the Militia retained in their town; whether every facility was invariably given to the Adjutant (Major Hamilton) by the Commissioners, and both the open and inclosed "Market Squares" were always placed at his disposal when required for the use of the regiment; whether in Newtownards there was one of the best rifle ranges in Ireland; and, whether, before making any permanent change, he will cause inquiry to be made into the matter, and give the Town Commissioners of Newtownards an opportunity of being heard in answer to any complaints which may have been made, privately or otherwise, against the conduct of the inhabitants towards the Militia, or as to the unsuitability of the town for training purposes?


(who replied) said: Donaghadee has been chosen for the training this year of the 3rd Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, as a healthy place, with a good camping ground and proper facilities for drill. In these respects Newtownards will not compare favourably. It is too late to make any alteration as regards the present year; but I shall be quite prepared, with reference to the future, to consider any representations which the authorities of Newtownards may wish to make; the points they would have to prove being that they can offer suitable drill and camping grounds. I must add that the market squares do not fulfil this condition.