HC Deb 01 June 1916 vol 82 cc2913-4
126. Mr. R. McNEILL

asked the Secretary of State for India whether the Government of India has received from the officer commanding the 21st and 26th Mountain Batteries in Egypt a request that his batteries should be re-equipped with modern guns, as his guns were not only out of date, but worn out; whether these guns reached Egypt from India in November, 1914, and were used in Gallipoli from the beginning of 1915 until the evacuation of the peninsula, during which service they fired more than double the number of rounds constituting the normal life of such guns; whether these guns when new were only capable of firing half as many rounds per minute as the more modern type of mountain gun with which some batteries have been equipped; whether the reply of the Indian Government to the request of the commanding officer was that re-equipment was too expensive; and whether the batteries mentioned, with their worn-out guns, were afterwards sent to Mesopotamia?


I have no knowledge of the particulars of the case mentioned by the hon. Member, but I feel sure that he must have been misinformed as to the nature of the reply said to have been given by the Government of India. The general question of the armament of Indian mountain batteries is receiving careful attention, but I am not in a position to make a statement.


Will the right hon. Gentleman make inquiries before the House meets again, and then be able to give a reply to the question on the Paper?


I should like my hon. Friend, if he would, to give me the information on which he is acting. I do not think I ought to make inquiries without having some basis to go on.