ADMIRAL FIELD (Sussex, Eastbourne)
I beg to ask the Civil Lord of the Admiralty whether any steps have been taken to prepare a rifle range for the seamen training in the Gunnery School at Sheerness, for which purpose, £1,000 was voted in last year's Naval Estimates, 1894–5; and, if not, whether the matter will be dealt with before, the expiration of the financial year; whether he is aware that the Military rifle range at Gravesend, to which the seamen at Sheerness Gunnery School have hitherto been sent for their rifle practice, has been closed for conversion into a range for the magazine rifle till July next; and, whether he can state how the seamen are to be exercised in rifle, practice under the circumstances without a rifle range?
§ MR. E. ROBERTSON
Steps have been taken for preparing a rifle range for the Gunnery School at Sheerness. The question was connected with the joint ownership of the land by the War Office and the Admiralty, which caused some delay. This has been now practically settled, and it is proposed to acquire the land very shortly. Information has been received of the proposed closing of the Military rifle range at Gravesend until June, The seamen, therefore, will not be able to fire at Sheerness for some three or four months. The question of whether they should carry out their rifle practice at some other port, is under consideration.