HC Deb 11 July 1899 vol 74 cc467-8
MR. DAVITT (Mayo, S.)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War, whether he will consent to lay upon the Table of the House accounts of the surgical experiments as to the effects of the Mark IV. missile, on the basis of which experiments the bullet is now being served out to British soldiers sent on service to South Africa; and if he can state whether the reported condemnation of the Dum-Dum bullet by the Peace Conference at the Hague has been officially brought under the notice of the War Office authorities.


The Mark IV. has been the service bullet for the British Army since February, 1898, and, as such, has been issued to our troops in South Africa. I cannot lay before the House reports either of the experiments which led to the adoption of that bullet or of more recent experiments, since they contain confidential information. These experiments were not merely, as the hon. Member suggests, of a surgical character. They were conducted to solve a number of physical problems, in considering which the humanitarian aspect of the question was not left out of sight. Our representatives at The Hague have reported the proceedings of the Conference from time to time; but these interim reports have necessarily been partial mid inconclusive.

MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)

Is it not a fact that this bullet has been constructed with a view to expand on striking like the Dum-Dum bullets?


There are great objections to arguing this question by way of question and answer. The bullet has been constructed to achieve a number of objects, one of which is that its calibre should be greater later on than when it leaves the muzzle of the rifle.


I beg to give notice that I shall raise this question on the War Office Vote.