§ 7. Trial with fixed bayonet to test the method of bayonet attachment and the result on shooting. 2nd Class target at 200 yards. Thirty rounds rapid fire. Five selected firers. Applicable to shortened rifle only.
§ "8. (a) Rapid fire for one and a half minutes at a 2nd Class target at 200 yards. (b) Rapid fire for three minutes at a 1st Class target at 600 yards, (c) Repeat (d), commencing with a full magazine in the shortened rifle and recharging it with ten cartridges.
§ "Results shown as averages. Registers to be kept and retained for reference.
§ "In these trials note especially if the hood interferes with rapid alignments of sights, especially when D sight is raised at 600 yards."
In order, my Lords, to satisfy you that both in the construction of the shortened rifle and in the manner in which the trials were carried on the officers concerned were in no way trammelled by orders from the War Office, I must ask your leave to read extracts from a letter I received a day or two ago from the officer who was Commandant at Hythe and a member of the Small Arms Committee for the greater part of the time these duties were being carried out. Colonel Pennington writes—
The correspondence (The Times February 3rd) pictures the Committee as a body oppressed by instructions from the War Office which injuriously limited their field of action and tied them to a narrow issue. This is incorrect and misleading. During my first six months I was in doubt on certain points, and thought it my business to express my views to General Brackenbury. General Brackenbury entirely convinced me that we were dead on the right lines. Trials later on fully confirmed this. The Committee was in no way unreasonably tied down or limited. It was asked to deal with the whole question in the only manner which was practicably possible—The Committee would most certainly have condemned the short barrel had it not given complete satisfaction, and had they not considered it an improvement on the long barrel. The War Office is accused of conducting trials with a view to suit a foregone conclusion. This is almost too foolish to reply to. All trials were suggested by me personally and were amplified by suggestions made by the Committee, who, being nervous about the short barrel, suggested the widest possible trial. The scheme for trials was then accepted by the War Office not directed. My sole idea in framing the Hythe and Army trials was to leave nothing undone to discover defects. The Hythe Staff, as a body, commenced
trials with a bias in favour of the long barrel. I believe no trials could be more thorough, more truly comparative, or more practical. The Committee could not have, taken up the question of a new type of rifle. It was urgent to deal with the defects in our rifle which the war had brought to light, the chief one being absence of charger loading. The short barrel came up in the connection and was eventually accepted on its merits.
During these trials certain shortcomings were observed in the shortened rifle, and in December twelve more rifles, modified accordingly, were tested at Hythe in comparison with twelve Lee-Metford rifles. The Commandant at Hythe reports that these trials were conducted with rigid impartiality, the short and long rifles being fired alternately, so as to ensure absolutely similar conditions. These trials proved the shortened rifle to be equal to the service rifle in accuracy.
As a further test, my Lords, and to ascertain the opinion of infantry soldiers, it was decided to issue 1,000. shortened rifles to the Army at home for trial, and on March 17th, 1902, a programme for these trials was approved. The trials were carried out at Aldershot, Dover, Portsmouth, and Curragh, Dublin, and Cork, by the various regiments stationed at those places, and by the Royal Navy, and in November of that year the Small Arms Committee reported that they did not regard any further trials as necessary, and that as a service weapon they considered the short rifle superior to the long rifle. My Lords, it was on receipt of this decided opinion, given by the War Office"s expert advisers, that I, as the Commander-in-Chief, recommended to the Secretary of State for War that the shortened rifle should be introduced into the service to replace both the Lee-Metford rifle and the carbine. In July, .1903, reports were received from Somaliland that the short rifle which had been issued for trial in that expedition had stood the test well. It was said that—
The men like it and shoot well with it.
I have now explained to you, my Lords, the reasons for the proposed change, and I have enumerated the measures taken to enable us to arrive at a correct conclusion as to the fitness of the selected weapon for general use in the Army.
Up to the time, my Lords, of the recent appearance of the correspondence in The Times dealing with deficiencies supposed to have been discovered in the new rifle, I had no idea that it had been thought to be in any degree faulty. Since the appearance of that correspondence, I have used every effort to discover whether there, are grounds for the objections brought forward by those who, for the most part, are experts as to the requirements of a match-shooting rifle rather than to those of a service weapon Lord Kitchener, to whom I telegraphed on the subject, replies—
As far as I have been able to test it, the new rifle fulfils requirements. In my opinion it is a better balanced, handier, as well as a lighter weapon, and more suitable for a man on the Indian frontier than the long rifle.
And yesterday this further telegram was received from Lord Kitchener—
The 7th Division at Meerut has been practising with the new rifle since the 11th. and ail ranks speak highly of it.
This testimony, my Lords, as far as it goes is satisfactory, but in view of the doubts raised in the minds of the public and the Army as to the value of the new weapon, and as it is essential that our soldiers should not be required to take the field armed with a rifle in which they do not entirely believe; and as 1 am at least as anxious as anyone can be that they should have the best rifle that can be procured, I most earnestly hope that His Majesty"s Government will consent to such further tests as will definitely solve the doubts which now exist.
§ To this end, my Lords, I would suggest that a certain number of civilians (if possible, the very same gentlemen who so patriotically went to Bisley a few days ago to ascertain whether the theoretical complaints advanced against the new rifle were well founded), should shoot against a similar number of soldiers at Hythe, each party firing with the long and short rifle alternately up to a distance of 2,000 yards, and also a certain number of rounds of snap shots at short ranges. The programme must, of course, be prepared so that the trial may be carried on as far as it is practical under service conditions, in order that the qualities claimed for a short and light rifle may be practically illustrated. This, I think, 1043 could not fail to enable the country to arrive at a definite conclusion as to whether the long or the short rifle is the best weapon for military purposes.
§ THE EARL OF ERROLL
My Lords, I do not share the very gloomy view taken by the noble Lord who introduced the Motion now before the House. I maintain that the superior lightness and handiness of the new rifle constitute a very great improvement on the old rifle, and I venture to say that this improvement has been acquired without any loss either of range or accuracy. It is admitted that it is the best weapon for the cavalry, and I venture to think it will prove a boon to the infantry soldier on service. The idea has got abroad that it is an unserviceable and an altogether bad weapon. This opinion has been fostered by the Press.
§ LORD TWEEDMOUTH
I beg the noble Lord"s pardon; I have never said it was a bad rifle. I wish it to be quite understood that I have never said that.
§ THE EARL OF ERROLL
I beg the noble Lord"s pardon. In the very temperate speech he made he did not condemn this rifle as a bad one. What I am referring to are the comments that have been made in the Press, and which seem to point out that this rifle is a really bad weapon, and that the Government has been accused of giving a weapon to the Army which places the soldier at a great disadvantage in comparison with soldiers of other countries. I do not hold this opinion at all. It is generally taken for granted in the Press that the cutting off of five inches from the rifle must necessarily reduce the accuracy and the range, and the alteration in the groove has been altogether ignored. In judging of a military rifle there is one point which I think we should never lose sight of, and that is the great difference there is between match shooting and service conditions. For shooting at Bisley a rifle has to be carried perhaps a few hundred yards, while on service men have to carry their rifles long marches and often make an attack immediately afterwards. It by no means follows that a rifle which is a good rifle for match shooting is necessarily a good rifle on 1044 service. The cardinal requirements of a rifle for service are handiness and lightness, consistent, of course, with sufficient accuracy to give the soldier confidence in his weapon. Target shooting at home under comfortable conditions is very apt to make us forget this fact. We do not want a match-shooting rifle. What we want is more of a sporting rifle, and I venture to think that if anybody picked up this rifle he would much rather take it out stalking than the long rifle which the infantry have at present.
For these reasons I attach very little importance to the trial which took place a few days ago at Bisley. If these seven match-shooters had marched twelve or fourteen miles first, and had then made an attack across a heather and crawled up to the position from which they were to shoot, I think their opinions would carry much greater weight. Another reason why I think these conditions were not quite fair was that as far as one can see these gentlemen had never practised with a short rifle before, and I think that it is only just to the rifle that it should be tried by persons who have had considerable practice with it. Men always find the drag-pull-of a difficulty at first, though it is almost universally approved of when they have become accustomed to it. I was down at Windsor yesterday, and I questioned some of my old regiment on this new rifle, and they were all warm in its praise. Last year the Blues shot a match against the Coldstream Guards, the Blues using the short rifle and the Coldstream Guards the long rifle, and the Blues won the match. It is true that there was a return match afterwards which they did not win. I have not got the figures, but I was assured that there was very little in it one way or the other. This, I think, proves anyhow that the short rifle is not an unserviceable weapon.
Turning to the statement of those gentlemen who shot at Bisley the other day that this rifle is badly balanced, I certainly cannot agree with them. I think if you take up the two rifles and put them to your shoulder you will find that the short rifle comes up very much better than the old one. The only way for your Lordships to judge of that is to try it yourselves. I wrote to a friend of 1045 mine who is in charge of an infantry battalion asking his opinion about this rifle. Whilst being unable to speak as to the shooting of the rifle in his own regiment, which has not been supplied with it, he says—My officers who have been recently at Hythe are warm in praise of its use and accurate shooting. I have handled it and it is a most handy and simple weapon. I fancy the wood casing will require care for fear of damage by falls, and the backsight must also be put down or it will break off. It is extremely light, and I am in favour of it. I do not think the short distance between the backsight and the foresight will affect accuracy of shooting. I have one beside me now and I do not think there can be a better weapon.This is the expression of opinion of an officer who is at present in command of a battalion. He is a good sportsman, and has seen service in all parts of the world. With regard to snap-shooting, I rather agree with the noble Lord that the sights are a little difficult, but I think that could very easily be remedied. I notice that the noble Lord said nothing about the recoil. I think he admitted last year that the recoil was so small as to be absolutely no detriment to the rifle at all. As to the flash, I have no experience of that. I think the noble Earl the Under-Secretary of State for War will be able to explain it. There was something said in The Times the other day about Colonel Hutton, who had been on the Small Arms Committee, shooting with a long rifle. I have seen that rifle. It is very long and heavy, and I do not think that those gentlemen, if they had made the march that I have suggested, would have approved of it from its weight. Besides, it is in no sense a military weapon, because it has no sights on it at all. I venture to think the opinion of military experts, backed up by the trials which the noble and gallant Earl the late commander-in-Chief has told us of, and further confirmed by the experience of the rifle in Somaliland, should carry greater weight than the opinions of this self-constituted and irresponsible body of gentlemen who went down to Bisley and in one afternoon solved the whole problem, which, I think, we will all allow is very difficult and very complex.
THE EARL OF LONSDALE
My Lords, we have heard many descriptions 1046 of the new rifle, and everybody seems to agree that it is a good one; but I understand that it is not a question whether the rifle is a good one, but whether it is a serviceable one, and I think it would be of very great benefit to the country if we knew to what extent the Government or the War Office are responsible for the new arm. I am sure no body of men are more anxious to benefit the country than the experts at the War Office. It may be the case that they have only under order enough rifles to supply the cavalry. If that be so, that is almost an answer to the noble Lord who moved the Motion now before the House, for surely it would be simple enough, if that be the case, to let the cavalry try the rifle and postpone the issue of the rifles to the infantry till a later date.
THE EARL OF DONOUGHMORE
My Lords, even had there been no debates raised on this subject last year by the noble Lord opposite, I should not have been surprised at a debate such as we have had this afternoon being raised at any time. All re-armaments bring into public notice with considerable prominence the views of two schools of thought. There is, first of all, the school of thought which I would venture to call the Army school—military opinion, which has its views as to what sort of weapon is required for the Army. Then there is the second school, the school which regards a weapon chiefly from a sporting point of view, from the point of view with which, I think, rather naturally, it would be regarded by the majority of your Lordships. This particular school has another wing attached to it consisting of those whom I should respectfully call target experts. Whenever rearmament has been proposed we have invariably seen a considerable contest between these two schools of thought. I was reading the other day a debate which took place in your Lordships" House on March 1st, 1867. It was initiated by the noble Marquess whom I see opposite. Lord Ripon. He asked certain questions with reference to what was then the new rifle—the Schneider—and the Under-Secretary quoted in his answer the military opinion which at the time was supplied to him by the then 1047 Commander at Aldershot, Sir James Scarlett. Sir James Scarlett said—I consider the present pattern an admirable weapon and perfectly efficient when well made and well handled.That is the same sort of answer that we have to give to-day, and it satisfies the critics no more than Sir James Scarlett's opinion did then, for I find that Lord Dalhousie, who followed, expressed considerable dissatisfaction with the rifle. I cannot help saying, by-the-by, that Sir James Scarlett was evidently a strong-minded soldier, who was not afraid of saying what he thought, for in the latter part of the extract quoted he said—My only regret is that the correspondents who furnish information on military matters to the Press do not first make themselves acquainted with the subjects on which they write.In 1871 there was a similar discussion with reference to the Martini-Henri, which was then being introduced, and in 1891, when the Lee - Metford was brought forward, the same critics who are now so strongly criticising the new rifle expended considerable energy in criticising the Lee-Metford. The noble Lord opposite, Lord Tweedmouth—I daresay he remembers it—initiated a debate in the House of Commons which has already been referred to by the noble and gallant Field - Marshal, and he attacked the Lee-Metford up hill and down dale, if I may put it so, and expressed his love for the Mauser rifle, a love we know he strongly feels. He informed the Secretary of State for War, Mr. Stanhope, that he could obtain these for £3, and I think he even went so far as to recommend that we should adopt these rifles, and your Lordships will probably remember that last year the noble Lord mentioned Mausers again, and quoted the price at from £2 16s. to £2 18s.
THE EARL OF DONOUGHMORE
Yes, an excellent example of the growth of the evil of "dumping" into this country. Mr. Stanhope, in reply, quoted the Adjutant-General of the day, who stated that the Mark II. weapon was 1048 a thoroughly satisfactory one in every way, but the noble Lord was still not satisfied, and he raised the subject again in the following year. And now, my Lords, we have the same controversy. Why do these two schools always differ? I claim that their views are divergent because their needs are divergent. They regard the rifle from an entirely different point of view. What, my Lords, are the needs of the sportsman? A sportsman needs a rifle of supreme accuracy; an ordinarily accurate rifle does not suit him. It is not only necessary to hit your beast but you have to hit him in the right place. Weight does not matter to the sportsman very much. An extra pound more or less is immaterial, because he does not carry his rifle; he employs a man to carry it for him.
THE EARL OF DONOUGHMORE
Then I congratulate the noble Lord. He is a very exceptional Scotsman. It does not matter a bit to the sportsman whether or not the rifle is complicated. There is a comfortable gun room upon the hill, with all modern appliances for cleaning the weapon and carrying out all repairs that it may require. What, my Lords, are the needs of the target expert. It is again of primary importance to him that he should have an accurate weapon. A few inches in accuracy at a thousand yards may make all the difference between success and failure. A few extra pounds in weight one way or the other do not matter to him. He has only a few yards to walk to the firing point. It does not matter if the mechanism is complicated; he has the most skilful gunmakers in the world always at hand ready to carry out small repairs, which, of course, are far more frequent in a complicated weapon than in a simple one. It does not matter to him if the weapon is delicate, for he does not go out shooting in boisterous weather.
THE EARL OF DONOUGHMORE
Ah, Yes; but under an umbrella. How different his needs are from the needs of the soldier on active service. It is quite true that the soldier needs an accurate rifle. In this possibly I go further than the noble Lord, but I am ,quite prepared to take his admission that as long as it is a good accurate rifle it is good enough for the soldier. But, my Lords, he has other needs quite as great as the need for accuracy. First of all, there is the question of weight. I maintain that to the soldier a single pound is of cardinal importance. He has to carry his rifle for long marches, sometimes for forced marches, in all temperatures, in all climates, in Canada, in India, and in the Far East, and he has to carry at the same time a great many other things. I claim, therefore, that it is of cardinal importance that you should consider the weight of a rifle when selecting one for the soldier.
Again, my Lords, a delicate rifle is of no use to the soldier. The Army needs a strong rifle that will stand knocking about from its master, who is, after all, rather a robust practitioner, not over skilful in mechanical niceties. He needs a handy weapon for snap-shooting, for shooting et moving objects, for a mêlée, for hand to hand conflicts such as you do not meet with upon the plains of Bisley. Therefore, I claim that there are cardinal necessities which must be considered in selecting a rifle for the Army that never come into the heads of Your sportsmen or your target experts, but which must be given full value by your Lordships in deciding such a matter as this. I might mention in passing that our late foes in South Africa, I am told, found the long rifle not quite so handy as they liked, for I believe many rifles which we had lost and which they had taken into use were found lying about, subsequently, and that almost invariably a great deal of the wood under the barrel had been cut away in order to increase the handiness of the rifle. I only mention this in passing as a testimony from those whom we are always having quoted to us as great rifle experts.
I maintain, my Lords, that the only true test--and in this one can welcome the support of the noble and gallant 1050 Field-Marshal-of the rifle for the Army is one made under service conditions. We have had such conditions in Somaliland, and the fact that there is a practically unanimous voice in favour of this rifle and against the old rifle surely should be allowed to have considerable weight in this matter with your Lordships. The noble and gallant Field-Marshal has made it perfectly clear that the attack which has been made upon us of adopting this rifle for the cavalry and subordinating the interests of the infantry is an unfounded one. He has also made it perfectly clear that there was no doubt in the minds of the military authorities in 1901 when this rite was recommended for adoption, and I think it right to inform your Lordships that there is a similar absolute absence of doubt in the minds of our military advisers at the present moment. There is no hesitation in the mouths of my colleagues on the Army Council in saying that this is the rifle that they want for the Army.
Now, my Lords, I come to some of the detailed criticisms which have been put forward by the noble Lord opposite, and I will do my best to follow such an expert as he is into the very minute details into which he has entered. I would only like to say one thing with reference to the policy of foreign nations. The noble Lord states that no one has adopted our rifle. That is true, but a foreign nation that has re-armed since we commenced re-arming has adopted, not only a short rifle, but a rifle shorter than our short rifle, I mean the Swiss. I admit that the Swiss have not a large army, but they are a nation of marksmen, and have always been held before us as such, and are we not permitted to say that this is perhaps a sign on the other side as to the way things may trend? There is also the United States. In 1898 the United States adopted a short rifle. It is quite true they have stopped the issue, but, if you read the extracts from the American newspapers, you will find that they have stopped the issue not because they are dissatisfied with their rifle, but because they are dissatisfied with their bayonet. As far as we know-of course we have no official reports; but as far as the American newspapers tell us-the United 1051 States have stopped issuing their short rifle because they are dissatisfied with their particular bayonet.
Now, my Lords, the noble Lord, in the first sentence of his speech, spoke with considerable feeling, complaining that none of the improvements suggested had been adopted by the War Office. He did not use the word " pig-headed," but I think he considers us pig-headed because we have not adopted some of his improvements. But three minutes afterwards the noble Lord congratulated us on having adopted charger-loading, of which he has been an advocate for years past. Adopting his advocacy of charger-loading is a very bad way of refusing ever to adopt any improvements that are suggested to you. We are often told that second thoughts are best, and in this matter I prefer the noble Lord's second thought.
Now with regard to the accuracy of this short rifle. The noble Lord asked about the trials. I was not present at the trials and I find a difficulty in answering all his minute questions. My impression is-I think I am informing the noble Lord rightly-that those trials were carried out not from a fixed rest-if I understand properly what a fixed rest is. I think they were carried out from the shoulder but on a tripod.
THE EARL OF DONOUGHMORE
But they were not in a vice. But, my Lords, I would like to say one word with reference to the results of some further trials which were placed in my hands yesterday, and which I think will prove very satisfactory to your Lordships. I would make one remark with reference to this return, and that is that the comparison in it between the short rifle and the foreign rifle is a fair one because it is a trial of one rifle. We have great difficulties in carrying out trials with foreign rifles owing to the difficulty of getting ammunition. The comparison between the long rifle and the short rifle is not a fair one. The short rifle trial is a trial of one rifle, but the long rifle trial is the ordinary trial of twelve rifles. Therefore I do not think that that comparision is a fair one.
THE EARL OF DONOUGHMORE
I think not, but I shall be able to say something about that presently in another connection. I have here the results of a number of trials-some nineteen or twenty in all-which have recently been carried out in connection with experiments upon a different point, and therefore I may perhaps claim that they are less open to suspicion upon this point. They had been carried out with a number of different bullets with which we had been experimenting. They were all new rifles, very carefully selected, six of each sort-six against six. Of course, in the figures that I will quote to your Lordships, the same bullet and the same ammunition will have been used in each rifle where one is set up against the other. They were 20 shot diagrams at 600 yards. With the present bullet the long rifle gives a figure of merit of 93⅓ in. and the short rifle 7⅓ in., or 2 in. in favour of the short rifle; second trial, 9⅗ in. long rifle, 8 in. short rifle, a difference of 1⅗ in.; third trial, 81¾ in. long rifle, 8⅔ in. short rifle, which is practically the same, being a difference in favour of the short rifle of 1/12 in.
THE EARL OF DONOUGHMORE
Certainly not. I am quoting the old rifle against the new rifle as issued to the troops. I have seventeen or eighteen further trials with which I will not trouble your Lordships, but the total result is 8⅖ in. for the long rifle and 7⅘ in. for the short rifle, a difference of ⅗ in. in favour of the short rifle. I do not want to press that further than to say that these trials distinctly show that the short rifle is not worse than the long rifle, and that in the majority of cases it comes out better than the long rifle. Therefore it is not straining the result to say that the short rifle is not the worse of the two.
THE EARL OF DONOUGHMORE
I think it is a perfectly fair comparison; it is comparing the rifle as issued to the troops, and I say that we will have a better rifle than the long rifle with which they went to South Africa. I do not want to put it further than that.
THE EARL OF DONOUGHMORE
I am coming to that; I was speaking only as to accuracy. Now, my Lords, I come to the recoil. I know the noble Lord opposite does not attack us on this point; he is my ally in this respect, and I am very glad of it. A great deal has been said about recoil, and I think it right that the proper figures should be mentioned. These are not War Office figures. The experiments were made by the Gun-makers Association of London. Whereas the recoil of the long rifle was 11.9 foot-pounds the short rifle was 13.4, so that the short rifle was about 1⅛ pounds more.
THE EARL OF DONOUGHMORE
I think not; I copied the expression from the report. At any rate we will not discuss whether it is pounds or tons. The figures are 11.9 and 13.4. I wonder if your Lordships are aware of what is the recoil of the guns with which you yourselves go out shooting. The Gunmakers Association assure us that it is 24; therefore the short rifle with 13.4 is not a very serious thing as compared with your guns with 24, while the old Express rifle which your Lordships used before the small rifle came in was 45.
§ LORD TWEEDMOUTH
I beg the noble Earl's pardon, but he was right and I was wrong. The recoil is pounds. I was confusing recoil with pressure. which is always given in tons.
THE EARL OF DONOUGHMORE
I am glad to hear that I was correct. Now as regards the point raised in the letter which is being quoted from The Times of last Monday with regard to flash. I fully admit that flash so far as regards present ammunition. It is not a very grave defect, 1054 because though a flash enables you to see where your enemy is, you cannot tell how far oft he is. It is very difficult in the dark to tell how far off a flash is. However, I am glad to be able to inform your Lordships that for a long time we have been carrying out experiments with what is technically known as " M.D. cordite," which is the cordite used in big guns; we have been trying to adapt it to small arms, and our experiments are already sufficiently satisfactory to enable me to say that we have every hope of shortly being able to introduce the use of M.D. cordite into small arms. From a great number of experiments that we have carried out with the short rifle, and even with the Maxim gun, which is always a considerable offender in the matter of flash, we find that with M.D. cordite, there is no flash in the short rifle or in the Maxim; therefore this defect, I admit at once, can be easily met without altering the length or the rifle.
Now, my Lords, as to muzzle velocity. The noble Lord stated that the muzzle velocity of the two rifles was the same. As a matter of fact the short rifle is 30 lbs. more.
THE EARL OF DONOUGHMORE
Anyhow, the figures are 2.000 and 2,030, or slightly in favour of the short rifle. Our present bullet we claim is capable of carrying a higher pressure than it does at present, but this higher pressure invariably raises complaints as to kick. But with the same bullet the trajectory is the same in the two rifles.
THE EARL OF DONOUGHMORE
No, the noble Lord has not disputed it, but lots of people have. If anything, that of the short rifle is a little flatter. There is one curious thing as regards muzzle velocity which I should like to mention. 1055 Experiments were carried out on the 21st of this month at Enfield, using a long barrel with rifling as for the short rifle, and the result was 21 foot-seconds more than the muzzle velocity of the short rifle. It is quite true that foreign rifles are getting a higher muzzle velocity, but they do it with a smaller bore, and also, I am informed, with a lighter bullet.
Then as regards range, a question raised by my noble friend at the Table. Both our rifles were sighted to 2,800 yards, whereas few foreign rifles are over 2,200 and none over 2,400. I have all the figures here as to foreign rifles, but I do not wish to weary your Lordships with them, but it might be interesting to note that the Japanese rifle is sighted to 2,187 yards-that represents the equivalent in kilometres-and the Russian rifle to 2,096 yards. Therefore in sighting our short rifle to 800 yards farther, we are not very far behind foreign nations.
§ LORD TWEEDMOUTH
I beg the noble Earl's pardon; the distance to which the rifle is sighted does not in the least guarantee or prove the distance the bullet will carry. We want to know how far the bullet will Larry, not the distance to which the rifle is sighted.
THE EARL OF DONOUGHMORE
But would not foreign nations sight their rifles to the distance they think necessary -as far as they want them to carry?
THE EARL OF DONOUGHMORE
We have had no experiments that I know of on that point, but if we have I should be very glad to place the results at the disposal of the noble Lord.
THE EARL OF DONOUGHMORE
I do not know, but again I should be very glad to ascertain. I should think it had, otherwise I do not think it would have been sighted for the distance. Now I come to the question of the sights. Before I deal with that, I may say that a paper has just been put into my hands stating 1056 that the rifle has been shot with good results at 2,800 yards. Now with regard to the foresight, I was wondering. whether the noble Lord would repeat his complaint of the foresight, because what did he, say in 1892? He then threw doubt upon the advisability of the foresight not being protected; he suggested to the Secretary of State in the House of Commons that it was liable to be knocked off. Now, when we have given the foresight protection and prevented it being knocked off, the noble Lord comes down upon us like a cartload of bricks and complains that we are throwing a shadow over it. I confess that in this matter I think the noble Lord is very difficult to please. Now, my Lords, I come to a more important point-the point of bayonet fighting. This is a matter which has caused considerable controversy. It is argued that this rifle being five inches shorter than the old rifle will place men at a considerable disadvantage as compared with the old rifle in a bayonet melee. Theoretically it is a very pleasant idea that the longer rifle and the longer bayonet give a man an advantage, but curiously enough our experience is all the other way. In 1888, when the short bayonet was originally adopted, very extensive trials were carried out. The method of procedure was as follows. Two of our best instructors were taken, one was given a long bayonet, and the other a short bayonet, and they were made to fight. After they had fought a certain number of times, they were made to change weapons, and fight again. The result was invariably that the short bayonet won twice out of three times. That is obviously because the shorter rifle is a more handy weapon, and that with a I short weapon you can move more quickly. There are also other points in favour of the short bayonet not in connection with the rifle, with which I will not trouble your Lordships. It is, however, a notable fact that at the present moment the Japanese rifle and bayonet together are three and a half inches shorter than the Russian rifle and bayonet, and, on the theory that the longer rifle and bayonet give you such a tremendous advantage, in almost every mêlée that has occurred during the present war the Russians ought to have killed every Japanese, 1057 and I hardly think that that is a sort of thing that the newspaper reports tell us has happened. The noble Lord admits that the argument against the short bayonet could be met by lengthening the bayonet, but as that matter is not now under discussion, I will not follow it further.
Now I come to some of the minor criticisms of the noble Lord. He complains of the stock being in two parts-I hope I understand his criticism rightly-and that this will allow the screw to work loose, and that the accuracy of the rifle would thus be compromised. I would only suggest with great humility that the remedy is not to allow the screw to work loose, and to screw it up if it does work loose. Then with regard to his criticism of the bolt. He attacked the bolt twelve years ago, but it has since satisfactorily stood the strain of the Tirah campaign, of the Egyptian campaign, of the South African campaign, of the China campaign, and of Somaliland, and we see no reason to desert our old friend. The same argument applies to the noble Lord's criticism of the magazine. The noble Lord stated in 1892 that the magazine was one which was liable to break down when brought into actual service. It is, I believe, a maxim of life that you should never prophesy unless you know, and on this occasion I am afraid the noble Lord prophesied without knowing. There is also the undoubted fact that a 10-cartridge magazine does not empty so soon as a 5-cartridge magazine, and we adhere to the 10-cartridge magazine. We know that the Boers used invariably to load up their magazines after they had fired a few shots if they had an opportunity for so doing, and the same course of action is open to the British soldier. We have had no complaint that the rifle is difficult to clean.
As regards the other small points, such as, for instance, the necessity of setting up new machinery, I am informed that a lot of new machinery has had to be set up, but I have not the details with me. In answer to the noble Lord, Lord Lonsdale, it is quite true that our present contracts when completed would do little more than supply our mounted troops, for 1058 whom, I am sure the noble Lord opposite would agree, a short rifle is essential.
THE EARL OF DONOUGHMORE
Very well, the noble Lord will not admit it. But long before these contracts are out we shall have received the result of extensive trials which are now in progress under service conditions, and I can assure your Lordship that if modifications are found to be necessary we shall not hesitate to say so and to recommend them to your Lordships. In connection with these trials I am prepared to make what perhaps I may call a sporting offer. If any of our friends the target experts would like to join in a trial I should be very glad to arrange it, and I would suggest something like the following conditions, viz., the trial to be carried out with a long rifle one day and a short rifle the next; the trial to consist of a twenty mile march in the most boisterous weather we can get, and to end with a half mile "double" over the shingle at Hythe (that is a very fair service condition); then the rifle to be shot, the number of rounds and the particular targets to be subsequently agreed on. I shall be interested to know whether after this march and this "double" those who participate in the trial still maintain that they like the long rifle better than the short, or that they prefer shooting with a long rifle to shooting with a short rifle. As a purely personal opinion, I should prefer that this offer were accepted by the seven marksmen whose trial is spoken of in the letter in The Times of last Monday.
At present, on the reports that we have, and in the opinion of our military advisers, we have no justification for doing what the noble Lord by his Motion would have us do, namely, to stop existing contracts. The keynote of the whole matter is-and I hope your Lordships will remember it -that the best weapon for target work or sporting purposes is not necessarily the best weapon for the Army. Our military advisers had no hesitation in 1901; Somaliland has come since then, and our military advisers have no hesitation Low. Your 1059 Lordships have heard the telegram from Lord Kitchener which was read out by the noble and gallant Field-Marshal, and I am sure your Lordships will feel bound to give the strongest possible consideration to the words of the telegram that "the rifle is more suited for war on the Indian frontier than the long rifle." Operations have been frequent on the Indian frontier, and we are constantly being reminded that they are likely to occur there again. I earnestly hope that your Lordships will not take up the directly non possumus attitude suggested by the Motion of the noble Lord, and absolutely refuse to allow any progress to be made in the re-arming of the Army with a rifle which, after all, the Army has chosen for itself.
§ THE EARL OF WEMYSS
Before my noble friend Lord Spencer addresses your Lordships I should like to say a word. The Under - Secretary of State for War said it was impossible to give a long rifle to the cavalry. Now, my Lords, why has the whole of this question arisen? We have had a very interesting discussion about sights and weights and everything else, but I would ask my noble friend whether, if it were not that at last the light has dawned on the War Office, after fighting against it for forty years, that the carbine is unsuited in the present day for cavalry, should we have ever had this new rifle? I very much doubt it. The point never arose until the question of the carbine for the cavalry being done away with came up, and that only arose because you sent our cavalry out to South Africa with a weapon absolutely useless as compared with that to which they were opposed; they were under fire for about 2,000 yards or 1,500 yards before they could return it. Their carbines would Shoot up to about 1,000 yards, while the weapons of their opponents would carry 2,500 yards, and some of them even up to 3,000 yards; therefore I am correct in saving that the cavalry were sent out with an absolutely useless weapon, and that much life was lost in consequence of their being, under fire for so long before they could return it. The result is that the carbine has been condemned and the cavalry are to be armed with a rifle; so that the question is what rifle should that 1060 be? My noble friend said just now that it was impossible for the cavalry to carry a long rifle. Why? Forty years ago the most perfectly mounted cavalry force ever seen—the Hampshire Mounted Horse under Colonel Bower—carried the rifle in a way which elicited from the late Commander-in-Chief these words. I may say that I last year produced photographs showing how the rifle was carried. The noble and gallant Field Marshal Earl Roberts then said—I admit that the photograph shows a pleasant way of carrying a long rifle; moreover I think it is in that way it will have to be carried in peace time.That is to say, carried in a bucket, attached not to the man but absolutely to the horse. Carried in a way, which, instead of interfering with the man when riding, enables him to ride over fences or anywhere, without convenience, and that acts as a buck-jumping saddle and prevents his being kicked off if need be. My noble friend the late Commander-in-Chief also said—It is an admirable way of carrying a rifle in peace time, but not in war.But what is war? He means in the face of the enemy. But when they are in face of the enemy the troops would take their rifles out of the bucket and carry them in a sling round their shoulders. There is no difficulty in that. The question, therefore, is reduced to this—whether it is a wise or necessary thing, putting aside the questions of accuracy and the improvement of the weapon, because you are going to give the rifle instead of the carbine to the cavalry, to arm the whole infantry and cavalry with a new rifle and spend at least £3,000,000 upon what I hold to be an unnecessary arm. I venture to think it would be more practical and more sensible to give the cavalry a long rifle and to carry it in the way I have suggested, than to spend £3,000,000 of money, and give every sort of abstract reason why this new rifle is better than the old rifle, when you would never have thought of having this new rifle at all had it not been for the question of substituting something for the carbine for the cavalry. I think we are indebted to my noble friend for bringing this question before the House, and on the broad issue—not on the question of sights or of weights, or 1061 of powder—but on the broad issue that the expenditure is unnecessary, I hope the Motion will be supported. You ought to give the cavalry a long rifle, and have it carried in a way which everybody who has seen it admits to be excellent. For years I have tried to get the authorities of the War Office to look at this method of carrying a rifle, but none of them have done so, and now they are adopting a newfangled idea by which the rifle is to be carried half on the men and half on the animal. I think the whole thing is a mistake, and therefore I shall heartily support my noble friend.
§ EARL SPENCER
My Lords, I am quite aware that your Lordships are always surprised if a Member of this House rises to speak on a subject about which he is supposed to know very little. I venture, however, to address you to-night, not as a sporting shot with a rifle, not altogether as a target expert, but as one who has had at any rate some experience in this matter, and I will tell your Lordships what is that experience which justifies me in supporting the Motion of my noble friend. When President of the National Rifle Association in succession to my noble friend beside me, I was appointed by the War Office in 1867 and 1868 and served on an important Committee for nearly two years, on the subject of the new rifle for the Army. I had already had considerable experience of shooting, having been one of the first Volunteers to go to Hythe. Before going to Hythe I doubt whether I could have hit Buckingham Palace at fifty yards, so that I owed a good deal to the Hythe course of instruction. After that, I did a considerable amount of shooting with various Volunteer corps; I drilled Volunteers in rifle shooting myself, and during that time they were more successful at Wimbledon than they have ever been since. I shot in a great many matches, not with a sporting or match rifle, but with the old muzzle-loading Enfield rifle, then with the Schneider, and subsequently with other rifles, so that I can claim to have had considerable experience both of shooting personally and of teaching others to shoot. While serving on the Committee to which I have referred, I went through a long period of inquiry on the subject of these rifles; we had an enormous number of 1062 rifles before us, though I forget exactly how many. Two of the members of the Committee were connected with the Volunteers and rifle shooting, one besides myself being Mr. Edward Ross, whom your Lordships will doubtless remember and admire as a most distinguished shot. The other members were military men, Colonel Fletcher of the Scots Guards, who served as chairman, two other military men, and a Royal Artillery Secretary. I may say that a friend of mine who happens to live in Northamp-tonshire and I are now the only survivors of that Committee with which I worked. I quite admit that our work and recommendations on that Committee are now antiquated and out of date, for a rifle, like a ship, has a very short life and is soon over-ridden by new ideas, but I think that much information that I gained during that inquiry justifies me in criticising the action it is now proposed to take. I always feel proud of having been a member of the Committee which recommended the Martini-Henry rifle, because, although it has now been superseded for some fifteen years, it provided for the Army one of the very best arms then in existence, and for nearly twenty years that rifle was used with great success. That Committee was appointed also to consider the question of magazine rifles, but these rifles had advanced only such a very small way in 1867-8 that we practically did not go into that matter, so that I do not speak with any experience on that point. I must also admit that at that time I was strongly against the bolt system, preferring the block system. I had an experience which perhaps justified me in holding that view, because while I was carrying out an experiment for the Committee to see whether the rifles would bear the rough usage of war, one of the bolt rifles blew up on my shoulder, the whole of the bolt going by my head, and I suppose I was never nearer to sudden death than then. I believe that experiment and accident greatly influenced the Committee in recommending the block system. But I am not going to argue in favour of that system now. I am quite aware that the bolt system has been adopted, and I believe successfully, and that the dangers we felt then 1063 as attending its use have been overcome by practice, and that under war conditions, which is the greatest of all tests, the bolt system has not been found deficient.
I want, my Lords, to refer to two points on which the noble Earl opposite has spoken. He seemed to throw a little doubt on the authority of men who came forward as sportsmen. But my noble friend does not urge that the experience of sportsmen completely exhausts the arguments in favour of one rifle or another. He does feel, however, and I agree, that the experience of sportsmen like himself with various rifles has an important bearing on rifle-shooting generally, whether in sport or with the Army. We often hear, too, some almost sneering remarks—I do not use the word offensively—with regard to Bisley and Wimbledon. I was closely connected with the meeting at Wimbledon, and I think that those who make such slighting references forget what those two great meetings for rifle-shooting have done for the Army and for the rifle in this country. If it had not been for the shooting at Wimbledon we should never have had so good an arm in the Army as we have had. That is a point that ought to be borne in mind.
I am afraid the noble Earl has not had much experience of shooting. I have had rather more, for I once shot for the Queen's Prize at Wimbledon with a military rifle, so that I know very well the conditions under which shooting takes place. I do not for a moment say that those conditions would outweigh the actual service conditions in the Army, but still they are important. One of the most trying conditions in the great matches at Wimbledon and now at Bisley, is the requirement to shoot in the most violent storms. I certainly have never heard of shooting from under an umbrella. Anybody who has shot at Wimbledon would ridicule the suggestion of the noble Earl; in fact, the idea as to that being one of the conditions under which shooting is conducted is absolutely absurd.
My Lords, we can quite admit that the noble and gallant Field Marshal has disposed of one argument which has been used in the course of the debate, namely, 1064 that the question of the short rifle was raised by the South African War. We will admit that. But speaking not as a sporting man—I have done very little deer-stalking myself—but as one with some experience of shooting with a military rifle in matches, I say there is nothing which makes a greater difference in rifle-shooting than the range between the backsight and the foresight. I have tried shooting with a short rifle, and it is-almost impossible to do so with great accuracy. The difference it makes is enormous, and I think that that consideration alone is of great importance. You may ridicule extreme accuracy, but I think that when you have in Your Army some of the best shots in the world you should seek to put into their hands a rifle which will enable them to make the most accurate shooting. Time aftertime, in South Africa and elsewhere, these experienced shots have done great service to the country by the marvellous accuracy of their shooting; therefore, I do not think you ought at all to minimise the importance of accuracy, and accuracy of shooting with all men, whether they are good or bad shots, is enormously affected by whether a long or a short rifle is used. The question of weight is one which need scarcely be considered when it is remembered that in this case the shortening of a long barrel to a short barrel only reduces the weight of the arm six ounces.
I do not want to trouble your Lordships at great length to-night, but I should like to say that with regard to cartridges I can conceive that it would be of enormous importance not to have two kinds of cartridges used on service. If you have two kinds of cartridges the wrong kind may come up just at the moment when you are in need of ammunition. Therefore the question of cartridges is of vital importance—of far more importance, I should say, than having the same arm. I cannot see the force of the argument of the noble and gallant Field Marshal. If you have the same cartridge it will be an enormous advantage.
Now, my Lords, we have to consider what the Government are doing. I understand that what the Government propose will cost about £3,000,000. That is a very large sum. But what will 1065 it effect? It will not give you a better arm than the long rifle. We do not say that the short rifle is a bad arm, but according to the arguments of the noble Earl the Under-Secretary of State and of the noble and gallant Field Marshal, the short rifle—though we admit it is better than the carbine—is not a better arm than the long rifle. Why, then, should you go to this enormous expenditure to put into the hands of the infantry an arm which many people think a worse arm than the present arm, and which, according to those who advocate the short rifle, is at any rate not a bit better than the rifle now in use? That, I think, is a point we ought to bear in mind.
I do not dwell on the question of recoil. My noble friend, who knows so much about the subject, has admitted that recoil in this short rifle is a small matter. A heavy recoil is doubtless very serious, but we do not say that recoil is a serious point here. The question of flash is of more importance, because the very existence of flash shows that the whole power of the powder has not been developed and brought to bear on the bullet which is to be propelled. The point on which I wish to lay particular stress is that for this enormous expenditure you will not get a better rifle. We believe that with very slight changes the long rifle could be enormously improved and that it might be made very superior to the rifle now in the hands of other armies. We quite admit the desirability of putting this rifle into the hands of the cavalry, as there is no doubt that the present carbine is very deficient.
Now, my Lords, I leave the case as it stands. I should have left it absolutely alone, but I thought that in a debate of this character I ought to make a few remarks. The case has been ably put by my noble friend, and I sincerely trust that your Lordships will not blindly follow the Secretary of State for War in sanctioning so enormous an expenditure for so small a gain.
§ THE MARQUESS OF RIPON
My Lords, I rise not for the purpose of continuing the debate, but simply with a view to pointing out a curious mistake made by the noble Earl in his reference to me. 1066 The noble Earl treated me as a critic of the Schneider rifle. If there is one thing in connection with my proceedings as the head of a public department with which I am well satisfied it is that I was the Secretary of State who introduced the breech-loading rifle into the British Army, and that I selected the Schneider rifle as the pattern to be used. I was shortly afterwards removed to the India Office. My noble friend the Duke of Devonshire succeeded me, and he it was who actually issued the rifles. My object was not to attack the Schneider rifle, which is, so to speak, my own rifle, but to elicit, what I did practically elicit, from His Majesty's Government, namely, the excellent practice which that rifle had always made.
THE EARL OF DONOUGHMORE
I should perhaps have described the noble Marquess as a critic of the Government, not as a critic of the rifle.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (The Marquess of LANSDOWNE)
My Lords, we have had a most interesting and instructive discussion, and I do not think that anybody can complain of the manner in which the subject has been dealt with either by the noble Lord on the Front Bench opposite who introduced the Motion, or by my noble friend beside me who spoke on behalf of the War Office. I think we are indebted to them for the clearness with which they handled a difficult subject, although there were moments when we found ourselves in some doubt as to whether we were thinking in tons or in pounds or in that still more elusive quantity, foot-seconds of muzzle velocity. What we have now to consider is the course we can most conveniently adopt with regard to the Motion on the Paper. The Motion is of a very decided and peremptory character. if it is carried by the House it may be either operative or inoperative, if it is operative it will have the effect of interfering abruptly with the proceedings of the War Office, and of throwing upon this House and of taking away from the War Office the responsibility for dealing with the 1067 supply of rifles to the British Army. On the other hand if it should remain inoperative I am afraid the result would not be consonant with the dignity of your Lordships' House. I wish therefore to ask your Lordships whether we are really in a position to commit ourselves to the very decided and conclusive view expressed in the Motion of the noble Lord? Surely, my Lords, this is a question which can be decided by experts and only by experts, and although there are no doubt some Members of this House, and I certainly give a high place among them to the noble Lord who moved the Motion, who have a right to consider themselves experts, I take it that what I may call the rank and file of your Lordships' House do not pretend to have any expert knowledge of these matters. We come then to this, that the Secretary of State for War has behind him a very great weight of expert authority. No one could listen to the full statement of my noble friend, or to the observations of the noble and gallant Field-Marshal on the Cross Benches, without becoming aware that this question had been fully and repeatedly examined, and that the Secretary of State's advisers had formed a very strong opinion, to which they adhered. On the other hand, my Lords, there is no doubt a considerable body of public opinion- of expert opinion -which holds a different view, and I am certainly not going to under-rate the importance of such statements as those which have lately appeared in the public Press or have been made by the noble Lord opposite this evening.
How, then, is it possible for your Lordships' House to take upon themselves to decide when these doctors disagree? No doubt there are some points upon which we are perfectly competent to form an opinion. For example, no one will deny, I think, that for a military rifle accuracy is not the all-in-all to be aimed at. There are other qualities for which we ought also to look. I think my noble friend was perfectly right when he argued that this subject should be considered not merely from the point of view of the sportsmen or marksmen. The military rifle will have to be put into the hands of soldiers, often of young soldiers, perhaps of 1068 soldiers who have not had a very lengthy training. It is surely of the utmost importance to give them a weapon which shall be simple and handy, and one which they themselves like to use. While I say that, I must protest against the statement of the noble Earl that my noble friend in his speech cast anything like a sneer upon those most valuable institutions, Wimbledon and Bisley. I am sure all of us agree with the noble Earl opposite in acknowledging the great debt which the country owes to those competitions, and the great obligation we are under to those who, like the noble Earl, were concerned in the original institution of those most valuable meetings.
Then, my Lords, other things being equal, it is surely not unreasonable to say that the lighter weapon is obviously a more convenient weapon than the heavier. Again, we may take upon ourselves to say that a single weapon is better for the whole Army than two weapons, and that one cartridge-which I believe we have-is better than a variety of cartridges. But, my Lords, my noble friend claims on behalf of this new short rifle that it possesses these attributes, and, in addition, the merit of equal or even greater accuracy. My noble friend is certainly not open to the imputation of having under-rated the importance of accuracy. I thought he put accuracy rather higher than did the noble Lord who moved the Motion; for he, if I remember rightly, treated the quality of accuracy as fourth in rank of the four essentials which he enumerated.
But, my Lords, my noble friend's statements, full and convincing as they were, are met by a distinct challenge, and it is scarcely for us to deliver judgment. What, then, is the reasonable course for us to adopt? Surely it is that which I understood my noble friend to suggest, namely, that this challenge should be taken up, that further trials-under conditions which will render those trials exhaustive and complete-should be made, and that if the result of those trials should throw any doubt upon the value of the short rifle the responsible department should govern itself accordingly. . No harm will be done in the meantime, because I understood my noble friend 1069 to say that the whole of the short rifles now under order, or in process of manufacture, will be required for the mounted troops, or for the reserve of mounted troops. We may, therefore, with a clear conscience proceed with the completion of those orders which an now actually in existence. As to the conversion of the existing long rifles into short rifles, to which the noble Earl referred-a conversion which he truly says is an expensive operation-I understand that no conversions are at the present moment in progress; and that none are intended in the near future.
§ THE MARQUESS OF LANSDOWNE
And that none are intended in the very near future. I maintain, therefore, that your Lordships may safely leave the matter where my noble friend has left it, without committing yourselves to a Resolution so binding upon the House, and so absolutely uncompromising as that which the noble Lord has moved.
A NOBLE LORD
Can the noble Earl say whether the War Office Committee which recommended this rifle, were in any way tied down by instructions as to the length of rifle necessary, or had they quite a free hand?
THE EARL OF DONOUGHMORE
I .do not quite recognise to what date the noble Lord refers. It was made quite clear by the noble and gallant Field-Marshall that the idea of the short rifle was put forward in 1895 by the Chief Inspector of Small Arms.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (The Earl of SELBORNE)
I was asked what we were doing with regard to the Navy. The rifle is not a weapon for
§ seamen at all; their weapon is the big gun; so that the question of the rifle is one of very second-rate importance to them, and we have not found it necessary to raise any question of a change of arms at present.
§ LORD TWEEDMOUTH
My Lords, I am afraid some of Your Lordships will think me very unyielding, but I do not think that I can accept the offer that the noble Marquess has made. I do not see that I should be in any way advantaged by accepting it. If I withdraw this Motion, and leave the matter in the position that the Government are to go on as they like, on the understanding that there are to be further inquiries into the behaviour of the rifle, well and good; but if I press this Motion to a division, as I am thinking of doing, the Government will still be bound to do exactly the same thing. After the debate which has taken place to-night, and after the discussion in the Press, it is perfectly clear that the War Office and the Government would not think of continuing the manufacture of these weapons without taking further steps to reassure the public mind. If the noble Marquess were in a position to undertake, that in the meantime no further rifles should be manufactured except for the cavalry, and that any further issue of the rifles should be postponed for a considerable time, there might be something in it. I do not wish to put the Government or the War Office into any state of discomfort, nor could I do it if I wished; so that for my own satisfaction, and in order, at any rate, to record the opinions of a certain number of Members of this House, I shall be obliged to ask you Lordships to divide on this occasion.
§ On Question, their Lordships divided:—Contents, 22; Not-Contents, 55.1071
|Bedford, D.||Portsmouth, E.||Raglan, L.|
|Somerset, D.||Spencer, E.||Reay, L.|
|Sandhurst, L. [Teller.]|
|Ripon, M.||Gordon, V. (E. Aberdeen.)||Stanley of Alderley, L.|
|Chesterfield, E. [Teller]||Brassey, L.||Wandsworth, L.|
|Dartrey, E.||Burghclere, L.||Welby, L.|
|Ilchester, E.||Chelmsford, L.||Wemyss, L. (E Wemyss.)|
|Kimberley, E.||Monkswc11, L.|
|Halsbury, E. (L. Chancellor.)||Lathom, E.||Abinger, L.|
|Vane, E.. (M. Londonderry.) (L. President.)||Lonsdale, E.||Allerton, L.|
|Mansfield, E.||Belper, L.|
|Salisbury, M. (L. Privy Seal.)||Mar, E.||Cheylesmore, L.|
|Northesk, E.||de Ros, L.|
|Marlborough, D.||Onslow, E.||Dunboyne, L.|
|Portland, D.||Roberts, E.||Estcourt, L.|
|Selborne, E.||Kenyon, L.|
|Anesoury. M.||Shaftesbury, E.||Kilmarnock, L. (E. Erroll.)|
|Bath, M.||Stanhope, E.||Lawrence, L.|
|Lansdowne, M.||Verulam, E.||Muncaster, L.|
|Winchester, M.||Waldegrave, E. [Teller.]||Oranmore and Browne, L.|
|Westmeath, E.||Ravensworth, L.|
|Pembroke and Montgomery, E. (L. Steward.)||Robertson, L.|
|Clarendon, E. (L. Chamberlain)||Churchill, V. [Teller.]||Saltoun, L.|
|Albemarle, E.||Cross, V.||Sinclair, L.|
|Brownlow, E.||Esher, V.||Stewart of Garhes, L. (E. Galloway.)|
|Dartmouth, E.||Hill, V.|
|Denbigh, E.||Hutchinson,V.(E.Donoughmore||Windsor, L.|
|Hardwicke, E.||Knutsford, V.||Wolverton, L.|
§ House adjourned at half-past Seven o'clock, till To-morrow, half-past Ten o'clock,