§ 20. Mr. Goldie
asked the Secretary of State for War under what Defence of the Realm Regulation he has authorised the resumption of firing on the rifle range at Orford Barracks, Warrington, notwithstanding that such range has been condemned; and whether he is prepared to assume financial responsibility for injuries 476 to civilians resident in the neighbourhood and for damage to property caused by the resumption of such firing?
§ Sir J. Grigg
The range is on War Department land, and no recourse to Defence Regulations is necessary for the Army to use it. It has always been considered safe by the competent military authorities, and no accident seems likely to occur either to civilian residents in the neighbourhood or to their property. I understand that children cannot now enter the danger area of the range while it is being used. But if injury or damage is done and if it is established that it is due to the negligence of military personnel on duty, a claim for compensation will be considered in the normal way. I much regret the inconvenience from noise caused to local inhabitants by firing on this range. Unfortunately the needs of training make it unavoidable. I hope, however, that it will be possible to restrict firing to certain fixed times and so limit the inconvenience as far as possible.