HC Deb 21 July 1898 vol 62 c640

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether he can give the House any information as to the progress made in supplying quick-firing guns to the Royal Artillery; how many batteries have already been equipped with quick-firing guns; how many are expected to be so equipped before the end of the current financial year; and whether any steps are to be taken to bring the reserve forces up to a similar standard of efficiency by gradually equipping the volunteer batteries with quick-firing guns?


As my noble Friend is aware, the increased rapidity of fire exhibited by these guns is due partly to the mechanism of the gun itself, and partly to modifications of the gun carriage. Experiments with the new equipment have been and are being pressed forward by every means at the disposal of the War Office, and the Secretary of State hopes that the Ordnance Committee will shortly be in a position to recommend a suitable design for adoption.


Will the right honourable Gentleman answer the last paragraph of the Question?


It is impossible to equip volunteer batteries before the regular troops.

SIR C. DILKE (Gloucester, Forest of Dean)

The right honourable Gentleman talks about experiments. Is he aware that the French and German armies had quick-firing guns nine years ago?


Yes, but it is not possible for us to adopt a gun until it has been recommended to the Secretary of State for War by the experts.