§ MR. BARTLEY (Islington, N.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that the telegraph messenger boys are already drilled with the Martini carbine; and if he will state definitely when the Artillery Volunteers will be supplied will that arm?
§ *MR. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
It has been already stated that 23 corps of Artillery Volunteers have been supplied with Martini carbines, and that it is hoped that the remainder of the Force will be so supplied by the end of the present financial year. The arms which have been issued to the telegraph boys for the mere purpose of drill are unserviceable weapons, which cannot be fired, and which are not fit for either conversion or repair.
§ MAJOR RASCH
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Enfield with which the troops are armed was obsolete in the days of Mr. Cardwell?
§ MR. CREMER (Shoreditch, Haggerston)
May I ask when these weapons were first supplied to boy messengers in the Telegraph Service; and whether the Post Office Authorities consider skill in the use of rifles as an essential part of the physical training which the present Postmaster General described as so beneficial to the boy messengers?
If my hon. Friend had heard my answer he would have learnt that the weapons issued to these boys axe unserviceable weapons, which cannot be fired. If any further particulars are desired my hon. Friend must put a Notice upon the Paper.