HC Deb 03 February 1891 vol 349 c1624
MR. DAVID THOMAS (Merthyr Tydvil)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether Mark III. of the new magazine rifle is now in process of manufacture at Enfield, or is contemplated; who are the persons responsible for the selection of .303 as the calibre of the new rifle, in the face of the opinions of practical experts to the contrary; whether the same has been condemned by Government experts as too small for accurate shooting, owing to liability to accumulate fouling, and other defects; whether any increase in size of the calibre has been decided upon, or is contemplated; whether Marks I. and II. can be converted to Mark III. or not; and whether any, and, if any, how many, workmen have been recently discharged from the Enfield Factory; and, if so, can he explain for what reason?


Mark III. of the new rifle is not in contemplation. Every nation in Europe has adopted a smaller bore rifle; and Government experts in this country have not condemned it. During the four weeks ending on the 31st of January 90 men were discharged from the Enfield factory, a decreased output being required from Enfield now that trade firms are commencing supplies of the magazine arm.