HC Deb 03 February 1953 vol 510 cc183-4W
54. Mr. Deedes

asked the Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been drawn to the remarks of Lieut.-General Sir Philip Balfour, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command, on 22nd January, to the effect that the standard of shooting in the British Army had fallen since the war; and to what factors this decline is attributed.

Mr. J. R. H. Hutchison

Yes. While the Army's best shooting is as good as ever, there was, I think inevitably, a falling off here and there in the general standard of shooting after the last war, which was aggravated by the shortage of trained instructors. It is bound to be difficult to get back everywhere to the standard of the pre-war Army, which consisted entirely of men serving on the longer engagements. But a number of steps have been taken which have already resulted in an improvement in the general standard.