§ "That a sum not exceeding £3,281,000 be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge for the Staff for Engineer Services, and Expenditure for Royal Engineer Works, Buildings, and Repairs, at Home and Abroad (including Purchases), which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1902."
§ Resolution read a second time.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said resolution."
§ MR. STRACHEY (Somersetshire, S.)
said that he wished to know what the Secretary of State for War was doing with reference to providing rifle-ranges. Great difficulty had arisen in many parts of the country in connection with the matter. In his own constituency a Volunteer battalion had succeeded in getting the owner and occupier of the land to grant them a range, but they were informed that they would have to build an enormous wall forty feet high behind the butts, at an estimated expenditure of £750, and that the War Office might contribute £300. The House would see the utter impossibility of local Volunteers being able to provide such a sum. The result would be that the Volunteers, if they wanted rifle-shooting, would have to travel fifteen miles, and men could not be expected to give up a whole day's work, as well as pay their expenses in travelling that distance. He had been told that that Volunteer battalion, which was at present very strong, would, as a result, be reduced in numbers, and that rifle-shooting would be discouraged. He knew the enormous difficulties which confronted the Secretary of State for War in the 1302 matter, but he asked whether it was not possible that something more should be done, and that a larger sum than £300 out of £750 should be granted. It was absolutely prohibitive to tell Volunteers that they could not have a rifle-range unless they were prepared to spend £750, with the probability of the Government refunding £300.
§ SIR HOWARD VINCENT (Sheffield, Central)
said he desired to join in the appeal of the hon. Gentleman opposite to the Secretary of State for War. The matter was one which affected the whole of the Volunteer forces, and it was quite impossible that they could be properly trained unless the Government took urgent steps to provide rifle ranges. The War Office was doing all it could to increase the efficiency of the auxiliary forces, especially in the matter of musketry, and the requirements were becoming every year more and more strict. But, as requirements became more and more strict, the facilities for rifle shooting became less, owing to the absence of ranges. The London Volunteers had at present the greatest difficulty in fulfilling the requirements of the War Office with regard to rifle practice. The Secretary of State had sent a Committee to Switzerland to examine into the manner in which in that country this difficulty was met, and he hoped that an announcement would be made shortly that the War Office was doing all it could to provide facilities for the proper training of the auxiliary forces.
§ MR. COURTENAY WARNER
said he wished to support the appeal. The want of ranges was causing enormous extravagance owing to not only Volunteers but Regular troops and Militia, having to be sent great distances, enormous sums being spent on railway journeys. They had been pressing the question for years, and, as far as he could understand, the Government up to the present had done practically nothing. In his own constituency 1303 a range was decided on about five years ago, but nothing had yet been done. It was, however, true there were certain difficulties in the way of getting the land. The matter was a very serious one, and not only interfered with the efficiency of the Volunteers and Reserve forces, but also occasioned great extravagance.
§ MR. TOMLINSON (Preston)
said, with reference to his own constituency, that there was some idea of having a rifle range at Fleetwood, but that would entail a journey for Preston Volunteers. There was also another rifle range nearer Preston, but it was six or seven miles from a railway, and it was almost impossible for Volunteers to get there and do their shooting in a day. He hoped the question of improving the facilities for shooting would be taken into consideration.
§ MR. BRODRICK
said that the appeal made on behalf of ranges was a natural one, and one to which the War Office lent a very sympathetic ear, but hon. Gentlemen who represented their regiments and who had made appeals to the War Office should also appeal to certain Members of the House to give the Government necessary assistance. Last session, as in previous sessions, they had endeavoured to get over some of the difficulties which beset the subject by asking the House to pass a short Bill which would have empowered local authorities to take land for ranges.
§ He was then and was still of opinion that the local authorities were the proper channels through which to proceed in the matter, as they had local influence and local knowledge, which they could bring to bear on it; but one or two Members of Parliament took a very strong view about the measure, and he did not notice that strong consensus of opinion which he should have hoped for to assist the Government in passing the measure. They had since 1895 done a very considerable amount of work in the direction of providing ranges, and he hoped to be able to pursue the policy which had been carried out since that time still further. The London Volunteers actually got a range from the London County Council on most favourable terms, the Government supplying half the capital; but the whole affair was thrown up because certain persons were not prepared to go into anything in which the County Council was concerned. He mentioned that to show that the War Office should not be asked to bear the whole brunt of the matter. They could only work quietly forward, and whenever they had an opportunity with local assistance of providing rifle ranges they were doing their level best to supply them. A large number of ranges had been already provided at Salisbury Plain.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 175; Noes, 37. (Division List No. 220.)1305
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyn|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Chamberlain,Rt.Hn.J.(Birm.)||Fisher, William Hayes|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Chamberlain,JAusten(Worc'r||Fison, Frederick William|
|Allhusen, Augustus Henry E.||Chapman, Edward||FitzGerald, Sir R. Penrose-|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Charrington, Spencer||Fitzroy, Hn. Edward Algernon|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E.||Forster, Henry William|
|Balcarres, Lord||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Fuller, J. M. F.|
|Balfour,Rt.Hn.A.J.(Manch'r)||Colston, Charles Edw. H. A.||Garfit, William|
|Balfour,RtHnGeraldW(Leeds||Colville, John||Goddard, Daniel Ford|
|Balfour,MajKR(Christchurch||Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk.|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Craig, Robert Hunter||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & N'n.|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir. M H(Bristol)||Cranborne, Viscount||Gore, Hn. G. R. Ormsby-(Salop.|
|Bigwood, James||Crossley, Sir Savile||Gore, Hn. S. F. Ormsby-(Linc.)|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John E.|
|Bond, Edward||Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.)||Goulding, Edward Alfred|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Dewar, T. R.(T'rH'mlts,S.Geo.||Graham, Henry Robert|
|Brigg, John||Digby, John K. D. Wingfield-||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Green, W. D. (Wednesbury)|
|Bull, William James||Dorington, Sir John Edward||Greene, H. D. (Shrewsbury)|
|Caldwell, James||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Gretton, John|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Griffith, Ellis J.|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Fellowes,Hon.Ailwyn Edward||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton|
|Cavendish, V. C. W.(Derbysh.)||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Hall, Edward Marshall|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Finch, George H.||Hamilton,RtHnLd.G.(Midd'x|
|Hamilton,Marq.of(L'nd'nd'ry||Milner,Rt.Hn.SirFrederickG.||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Robt. W.||Molesworth, Sir Lewis||Smith,HC((N'rth'mbTyneside|
|Hay, Hon. Claude George||More,RobtJasper(Shropshire)||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.|
|Heath, Jas. (Staffords, N.W.)||Morgan,DavidJ(Walthamst'w||Spear, John Ward|
|Higginbottom, S. W.||Morrell, George Herbert||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Hobhouse, H. (Somerset)||Morrison, James Archibald||Strachey, Edward|
|Hogg, Lindsay||Morton,Edw.J.C.(Devonport)||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Hope, J.F.(Sheffield, Brightsd.)||Murray, RtHnA. Graham(Bute||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Horniman, Frederick John||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)|
|Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||Murray, Col. Wyndham(Bath)||Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings|
|Kearley, Hudson E.||Newdigate, Francis Alexander||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Lawson, John Grant||Norman, Henry||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|Lee, A. H. (Hants., Fareham)||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Valentia, Viscount|
|Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington)||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)||Vincent, Col. SirCEH(Sheffield|
|Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Parker, Gilbert||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Partington, Oswald||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.||Pemberton, John S. G.||Wason, JohnCathcart(Orkney|
|Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham)||Penn, John||Webb, Col. William George|
|Long, Rt.Hn. Walter (Bristol, S||Priestley, Arthur||Weir, James Galloway|
|Lowe, Francis William||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Welby, Lt.-Col.ACE(Taunton|
|Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Purvis, Robert||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft||Pym, C. Guy||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Lucas, R. J. (Portsmouth)||Randles, John S.||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Macdona, John Cumming||Reid, James (Greenock)||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Renshaw, Charles Bine||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Maconochie, A. W.||Renwick, George||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks)|
|M'Calmont,Col.H.L.B(Camb.||Ridley,Hn.M.W.(Stalybridge||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R.(Bath|
|M'Killop, J. (Stirlingshire)||Ridley, S. F. (Bethnal Green)||Woodhouse,SirJ.T(Hudd'sfi'd|
|Majendie, James, A. H.||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Malcolm, Ian||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Manners, Lord Cecil||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES— Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Martin, Richard Biddulph||Ropner, Colonel Robert|
|Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Maxwell, W. J. H.(Dumfriessh.||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Abraham, William (Cork,N.E.||Gilhooly, James||O'Mara, James|
|Ambrose, Robert||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Boland, John||Kennedy, Patrick James||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Boyle, James||Leamy, Edmund||Reddy, M.|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Redmond, John E. (Waterford|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||M'Dermott, Patrick||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Channing, Francis Allston||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Sullivan, Donal|
|Crean, Eugene||Mooney, John J.||Taylor, Theodore Cooke|
|Delany, William||Murphy, J.||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Dillon, John||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Doogan, P. C.||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES— Captain Donelan and Mr. Patrick O'Brien.|
|Duffy, William J.||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.|
|Flynn, James Christopher||O'Malley, William|
Question put, and agreed to.