§ MR. LEES KNOWLES () Salford, W.
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that in the 1st Cadet Battalion the King's Royal Rifle Corps, which has sent upwards of 100 recruits to the Regular Army in the last two years, and has contributed contingents to the King's Royal Rifle Corps and City of London Imperial Volunteers for service in South Africa, only fifty per cent. of servicable arms are supplied, thereby placing the battalion in an inferior position to cadet corps composed of younger lads attached to Volunteer battalions; and whether, in view of the fact that the rank and file of this cadet battalion average nearly seventeen years in ago, and five feet six inches in height, and fire a musketry course with ball cartridge, the Secretary of State will arrange for the issuing of Lee-Metford rifles for the full establishment of six hundred.
*MR. J. POWELL-WILLIAMS (for Mr. WYNDHAM)
The members of a cadet battalion may not exceed seventeen years of age, and may be as young as fourteen years. It is considered that 50 per cent. of rifles for ball practice is sufficient when the age of the cadets is taken into account. The remainder of the corps have carbines for drill purposes.