§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the 984 Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether the Lee Enfield carbine, with which the Royal Irish Constabulary are to be re-armed in place of the Martini-Henry, has magazine action carrying seven cordite 303 cartridges; and whether, seeing that magazine rifles will not fire buckshot and that that particular ammunition was introduced into the force from alleged motives of humanity, the arms at present used by the Royal Irish Constabulary may, in the interests of humanity and the economy of public money, be advantageously retained.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
The reply to the first inquiry is in the affirmative. The fact that buckshot cartridges cannot be fired from the Lee-Metford carbine was considered by the Government when authorising the re-armament. The contingency of the police having to repel an attack is so remote that I scarcely feel called upon to deal with it. In the opinion, however, of the Inspector-General, in which the Government concurs, the 303 bullet is a more humane missile at close ranges, and less liable to inflict accidental damage at long ranges. The re-armament was, as I have stated, approved on grounds of economy.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND (Clare, E.)
Where does the economy come in of giving the whole force a new rifle?
§ MR. WYNDHAM
It is always wasteful to maintain two separate kinds of weapon in any one country. You have to have different kinds of ammunition. It is better to have one gun and one cartridge.
§ [No answer was returned.]