I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that for some years past, ever since the introduction of the Lee-Metford rifle, three battalions of Volunteers, one battalion of Militia, and a regiment of Yeomanry in Gloucestershire have been unable to practise rifle shooting in such a manner as would enable them to become efficient or useful marksmen on service; whether he is aware that the War Office have hitherto refused to give any assistance towards the establishment of a proper range; and whether, in view of recent events in South Africa, there is any prospect of the Government now seeing their way to reconsider their decision.
*MR. J. POWELL-WILLIAMS (for Mr. WYNDHAM)
I am aware that some 380 of the Volunteer corps in Gloucestershire have had considerable difficulties in regard to their rifle practice. It is hoped that with the additional funds now at his disposal for this purpose the Secretary of State for War will be able to give Volunteer corps greater assistance in obtaining range accommodation. The distribution of the sum is now under consideration.