HC Deb 10 March 1892 vol 2 cc531-2

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War if he will inform the House what instructions have been given to the representative of the Board of Agriculture, who is to hold a local inquiry respecting the proposal to form a camp and rifle range in the New Forest; and whether such instructions extend to an inquiry into the injury that will be inflicted upon the cottagers of the New Forest, who exercise common rights, and upon the public, who resort to the New, Forest, for purposes of recreation and art and scientific research?


Mr. Pelham's instructions are to inquire into the suitability and safety of the proposed rifle range, for which purpose he will hear and report upon any objections which may be made by the commoners or others resident in the locality. I think the instruction to the Commissioner is sufficiently, wide to cover any question which can arise in connection with the use of the New Forests. As to the appointment of. Mr. Pelham, I may add that he in no way represents the Board of Agriculture, and that he has been selected in consequence of his having had so much experience in holding public inquiries for Boundary and other Commissions.


I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that the proposed rifle range in the New Forest actually comes Up to a road much frequented in summer between Lyndhurst and Hythe; and whether it is intended to close this road during the annual camp?


I cannot identify on the map any road between the places named which can be interfered with by the proposed rifle range; or which can be rendered unsafe to the travelling public. The matter is one, however, which would naturally be included in the local inquiry about to be held. If the hon. Gentleman would care to point out to me more particularly the road to which he alludes, I would be prepared to give him the information.