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Army—Breech-Loaders For The Volunteers— Question

Volume 203: debated on Monday 8 August 1870

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In answer to a Question from Mr. SCLATER-BOOTH ,

said: I am not prepared to enter into an engagement to furnish breech-loaders to any particular corps of Volunteers. It is my intention to lay down rules for the gradual arming of the Volunteers with breech-loaders; but it is necessary to take precautions with respect to their custody, since they require much greater care than is at present paid in many instances to the muzzle-loading Enfields. I may take this opportunity of repeating that it is intended to publish as soon as possible Regulations by which officers and sergeants can qualify so as to earn within the year the £2 10s., making in all £4, which is necessary as the equivalent for an additional 5s. to the Capitation Grant. They will be framed with a view of rendering it as little inconvenient as possible to every qualified officer to obtain the necessary certificate, and though opportunities of attending schools of instruction will be afforded to those who require it, those who are qualified already will be enabled to obtain the certificate without doing so, and by simple examination at head-quarters. It will also be made less troublesome to earn £1 10s. to those whose shooting enables them to attain the required class in a smaller number of rounds, and the standard will be only 30 points for those who continue to fire with the present weapon. The Regulations will also provide additional facilities for a portion of the force to go to camps of exercise, by a contribution towards the expense of constructing the camps, with arrangements for obtaining rations at contract prices.