HC Deb 12 July 1888 vol 328 cc1091-2
MR. HOWARD VINCENT (Sheffield, Central)

asked the First Commissioner of Works, If he has received any communication from the Commanding Officers of the principal regiments of Volunteers in the Metropolis as to the value of a suburban shooting camp, during a fortnight of the year, either at Wimbledon or Richmond Park; and, in such case, if he has any objection to state the tenour of such communication, and by whom it was signed?


I have received a communication, signed by 12 officers commanding Volunteer Corps in the Metropolis, on the question of giving up a part of Richmond Park for a fortnight each year to the National Rifle Association, in which they say they think it right to express their opinion that such an arrangement is not necessary or desirable. They are in favour of the establishment of a permanent ground within an hour's journey of London, where detachments of Volunteers could be sent at any time of the year, for the purpose of carrying out their target practice. They demur entirely to the statement that the existence of the Volunteers depends in any way on the maintenance of the Rifle Association at Richmond Park; and, while they fully acknowledge the great service which has been rendered by the National Rifle Association, they express their belief that the Volunteers have been so firmly established that their well-being does in no way depend upon the meeting of the Association being held near London. On the other hand, I have been informed that a number of Volunteers, including three Colonels of Metropolitan Corps, went down last night to a meeting in the camp at Wimbledon to protest against the letter signed by the 12 Colonels which I have just read.