HC Deb 07 June 1888 vol 326 cc1374-5

asked the Secretary of State for War, If, having regard to the limited practice and the difficulties as to ranges which impede the musketry proficiency of many Volunteer recruits, those members of the Force who fail to get out of the third class within the 60 rounds allowed by Government may still endeavour to qualify for the capitation grant under the new Regulations either at their own expense or at that of the corps?

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

Under existing Regulations a Volunteer has three chances of passing into the second class. My hon. Friend proposes that if he fails to get out of the third class after these three attempts, and after firing 60 rounds of ammunition, he should have, at his own expense or that of his corps, a further opportunity of qualification. Unless carefully safe- guarded, it is clear that this concession would give to the richer corps a great advantage over the poorer. But, looking to the difficulties which certain urban Volunteers have to encounter in respect of shooting, it may be desirable to make some concession in their case; but I cannot help thinking that the experience of the first year would be the best means of enabling us to settle this and some similar questions in a satisfactory manner.