21. Mr. FREDERICK HALL (Dulwich)
asked the Secretary of State for War what ranges have been set aside for use for Artillery practice of Territorial regiments in the London area; whether there have been cases in which any regiments have not carried out annual practice during the three years ended 31st December, 1912; and, if so, would he give particulars of the same, stating what periods of practice are prescribed under the War Office Regulations for Territorial Artillery units, and what steps are taken to ascertain that the Regulations are complied with?
§ Colonel SEELY
All the divisional Artillery of the London Division will practice at Regular Artillery practice camps this year, the Field Artillery at Lark Hill and the heavy batteries at Okehampton. The two batteries of the Honourable Artillery Company, which practised at West Down, Salisbury Plain, in 1912, have recently applied to practice for two days at Lark Hill, and arrangements will be made, if possible, for them to do so. There have been no cases in which any units have not carried out annual practice during the last three years. Under the Regulations batteries are given an annual allowance of gun ammunition for practice during annual training, but are allowed, if so desired, to practise biennially instead of annually, thus expending two years allowance of ammunition, and devoting alternate years entirely to the instruction of the men in driving, riding, and tactics. This principle was adopted in 1910 in order that batteries should not practise without adequate preliminary training, and should be able to make use of the Regular Artillery ranges when they do practice and so benefit by the expert instruction provided. As a result, batteries practice on the average two years out of three. The practice programme is drawn up annually by the War Office.