HC Deb 18 July 1902 vol 111 cc668-9
MR. YERBURGH (Chester)

To ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether there are any prizes for the Navy for gunnery and for small arms other than those given by the Admiralty; and whether, seeing that the amount given for prize shooting in 1900–1 was £3,531— which is less than the amount given in 1894–5 by £1,446—while £13,000 is given annually by the War Office for prize shooting for the Army and Militia, it is the intention of the Admiralty to increase the amount; and whether they will consider the advisability of giving other encouragement for good gunnery, such as badges and extra leave.

(Answered by Mr. Arnold - Forster.) Except for the fact that rifle meetings with prizes are held on some stations there are no prizes for the Navy for gunnery or firing with small arms other than those given by the Admiralty. With regard to the latter part of the hon. Member's Question, I should like to point out that good gunnery is already encouraged in other ways than by money prizes. All gunnery ratings receive special allowances, ranging from 2d. a day in the case of a seaman qualified in gunnery, to 1s. a day in the case of the captain of a turret. Captains of guns, turret guns, or turrets already have special badges, and a badge for the comparatively new rating of second captain of gun is now being designed. It is being carefully considered whether in any further way the supreme importance of proficiency in gunnery can be marked, but the Board do not consider that the question is only one of money, or that competitions for money prizes are necessarily the best way of increasing the general efficiency of the Fleet in gunnery.