§ MAJOR SEELY (Isle of Wight)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether the improved pattern of 15-pounder issued to the new batteries in 1899 is the same gun as the 1885 pattern, with the addition only of a spade to take recoil; and what is the number of aimed shots that can be fired per minute by the 1885, 1899, and quick-firing Ehrherdt guns respectively.
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for WAR (Mr. BRODRICK, Surrey, Guildford)
The 15-pounder gun of the 1899 pattern is not the same pattern as that of 1885, though it fires the same ammunition. It is not usual to give the number of aimed shots fired per minute, but the results show a steady progress in the rate of fire in accordance with the newness of the pattern.
§ SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)
When the right hon. Gentleman speaks of an improved gun does he mean the same with the change suggested in the Question.
§ MR. BRODRICK
said he could not go into technicalities but parts of the gun had been improved and it fired quicker.
§ SIR CHARLES DILKE
Improved by the opening of the breach in the opposite direction. It is not a quick-firing gun I take it.