HC Deb 14 July 1887 vol 317 cc777-8

asked the Secretary of State for War, If the Irish Militia, armed with the Snider (Converted Enfield) rifle, have to compete in the inter-regimental rifle matches on the same footing as the English and Scotch Militia armed with the Martini-Henry; and, if so, whether any allowance will be made to the Irish Militia in consequence of their being armed with an inferior and practically obsolete weapon: and, whether there is any intention to arm the Irish Militia similarly to the English and Scotch?

THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. E. STANHOPE) (Lincolnshire, Horncastle)

The rifle matches referred to are not under the control of the War Office; but I am not aware that the Irish Militia is restricted in these matches to the use of an inferior weapon. Martini-Henry rifles are ready for issue to the Irish Militia; but as the regiments are now, for the most part, out for training, the Military Authorities in Ireland prefer that the exchange of arms should not take place till this training shall have been completed.