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Rifle Clubs (Ammunition)

Volume 463: debated on Thursday 14 April 1949

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asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will permit the import of £100,000 worth of American Remington and Winchester.22 rifle ammunition for the use of small bore rifle clubs in Britain.

No, Sir. I am informed by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Supply that while there has been a temporary falling off of deliveries to rifle clubs, their requirements in 1949 should be substantially met by home production and token imports.

Does not the hon. Gentleman realise that the home production is of a quality very far below what it used to be before the war, and can we have an assurance that, if he will not allow imports to come in of the nature asked for in the Question, he will facilitate the making of I.C.I. "All Range" ammunition, which was what was required before the war?

The Ministry of Supply are looking at this matter with a view to seeing if supplies can be given.

Will the hon. Gentleman answer the point put to him by my hon. Friend, that if he cannot allow the import of American ammunition, he will use his influence to see that really first-rate ammunition is produced here? This is so important for defence purposes.

—and that if supplies are available there is no need for these imports from the dollar area.

Does the hon. Gentleman appreciate that important training is being held up by the shortage of ammunition?

Does the hon. Gentleman realise that there is a defence aspect to this question and that if he discourages small-bore rifle clubs it will make this country less prepared.

I can assure the hon. and gallant Gentleman that we are not anxious to discourage them.