HC Deb 08 February 1897 vol 45 cc1541-2

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War if he will explain to the House the principle upon which grants will be made towards acquiring new rifle ranges out of the £500,000 to be devoted to that purpose; and, by whom applications for grants should be made to the War Office?


There is no intention of making any grants out of this fund. Its object is the purchase in the several districts of ranges at which the regular troops and the Militia can safely practice with the Lee-Metford rifle. Where ranges so acquired are conveniently situated for use by Volunteers, every facility for shooting on the usual conditions will be given to them.

In answer to Mr. MONK,


said he could not say anything as to the locality in which ranges would be purchased.

MR. T. LOUGH (Islington, W.)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether he will lay upon the Table of the House a Paper giving the details of the proposed expenditure for defence works and ranges provided in the Military Works (Money) Bill, giving similar particulars to those which had been provided with regard to barracks, before proceeding with the Second Reading of the Bill; and, whether, if he will not furnish Papers, he will now say at what precise places the proposed expenditure on the fortification of London is to be made, and what is the exact nature of the works to be undertaken?


It would not be for the public interest that details of the intended defence works should be given. The Government propose to follow the course adopted with the consent of Parliament in 1888 and only to show the amount to be expended in the schedule to the. Bill. The general character of the proposed works was explained in introducing the resolution. As regards ranges, the list of stations at which they are to be provided could not be given without largely increasing the cost. In reference to the allusion in the question to the "fortification of London," I would explain to the hon. Member that the works proposed are merely a continuation of those which have been for some years in progress—viz., the preparation of centres for a system of field defences which could be thrown up on emergency. They include, as has already been stated, storehouses for the tools and ammunition necessary for the troops to be stationed at these points.