HC Deb 19 April 1905 vol 145 cc591-2
SIR HOWAED VINCENT (Sheffield, Central)

To ask the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that for many years the 4th West York Artillery Volunteers have been encouraged to prepare themselves for field artillery, and that, in pursuance of this aim, they have gone to trouble and expense in riding drill, in the purchase of horses and equipment, and the erection of a riding school, and that an instalment of field guns has been furnished them; and will he explain why a decision has been arrived at that they must revert to garrison artillery; and if, having regard to the dissatisfaction produced in the † See (4) Debates, cxlii., 420. ‡ See (4) Debates, cxlii., 934. West Biding by this decision, the matter can be reconsidered.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Arnold-Forster.) The Army Council do not consider that, in view of the great increase in the Royal Artillery, Volunteer field artillery are required for defence purposes, but that Volunteer heavy artillery may render valuable services. Some field guns were lent to the corps referred to by my hon. and gallant friend because at the time no heavy guns were available. It was not, however, contemplated that the corps should be permanently maintained as field artillery. To do so would involve expenditure in excess of funds available from public sources. I understand that private funds are not adequate to make up the deficiency, and, under the circumstances, the Army Council, though recognising the excellent work done by the corps, are of opinion that the original intention should now be carried out and that the corps should cease to train as field artillery.