§ 3. Mr. GOLDIE
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that no steps whatsoever, beyond measuring out the ground, have as yet been taken by his Department with regard to the construction of a new rifle range at Warrington, and that rifle firing is still continuing on the existing range at the Peninsula barracks, Orford, in spite of repeated protests during the last two years to the War Office; and whether, in the interests of public safety and more especially of the local inhabitants, he will give instructions for such rifle practice to cease forthwith?
A contract for the construction of the new range at Warrington was placed in May, for completion in July, and work on the site had actually been begun when it was found that an unknown depth of shifting sand existed under the surface. Measures to overcome this difficulty have been agreed on, but in the circumstances some delay is inevitable. In the meantime a certain amount of rifle firing at the existing range is taking place, but this is restricted to essential recruit training and is confined to the hours which are least likely to cause annoyance to local inhabitants.
§ Mr. GOLDIE
Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that these unfortunate people for five years have had rifle fire into their back gardens at a range of 75 yards? Is it not time that something was done by his Department to stop it?
There has been a great deal of delay, but the hon. and learned Member knows as well as I do the delay has not been wholly the fault of the War Department.
§ Mr. SHINWELL
Is this rifle fire on rifle ranges part of the right hon. Gentleman's policy of frightening people out of their wits?