§ MR. HANBURY (Preston)
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, with reference to the Minute by the Secretary of State for War, dated 10th March, recommending to the Admiralty that at certain stations the present defective cutlasses should be retained, but sharpened, in accordance with the "recommendations of the Committee;" Whether the Cutlass Committee has made any recommendations of the kind, as to sharpening weapons which they describe as absolutely inefficient, untrustworthy, and unfit for service; and, whether he will undertake that such weapons shall be withdrawn, in all cases, with the least possible delay?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE TOR WAR (Mr. E. STANHOPE) (Lincolnshire, Horncastle)
Perhaps I may be allowed to answer this Question, as my hon. Friend hardly seems to have understood the object of my Minute. It is intended to withdraw all these weapons, and to substitute for them those recommended by the Committee. But as some of Her Majesty's ships are on foreign stations, and the exchange cannot in these cases possibly take place immediately, I have suggested to the Admiralty to have the existing weapons sharpened in the manner which, according to experiments before the Committee, adds very considerably to their efficiency. But, of course, they will be exchanged as soon as it is possible.
§ MR. CHANCE (Kilkenny, S.)
Is it intended to withdraw any of the swords or bayonets used by the Royal Irish Constabulary; and does the right hon. Gentleman know whether any of these have been found to be inefficient?