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Sir,—ln a country so sparsely populated as New Zealand, where it is almost impossible to concentrate a. number of trained men sufficiently large to repel a sudden attack by an enemy, it follows, that any movement calculated to increase the number of citizens skilled in the use of the rifle must necessarily strengthen our line of defence; and the Government apparently recognised i this last session by the promises made to encourage the formation of rifle clubs, promises which have yet to be fulfilled. The American War of Independence and the more recent. Boer difficult v.- : furnish examples of what untrained rr««u\ who are excellent shots can do against exei* our trained British soldiers. The estab&sh- ; ment of rifle clubs would, of a certainty,, increase the percentage of good shot* among;, our population, and would not, moreover,., cause any additional expense to the country,. the issue of rifles now lying idle in the: Armory at Wellington being the main requisite; and this small concession may surely be granted to. men who are willing; to give the time and incur the expense necessary to become good marksmen.. That the formation of such clubs is not viewed with favor by a. section of oiar ivolunteer officers is an open secret; and! locally a policy of obstruction (in which, I understand, the officer commanding the district does p»t concnr) has been adopted, which ia, However, not only an admission of inoaraoity on the part of the objectors* but also tends to show the animating spirit to be lone of petty jealousy rather than that esprit de corps we naturally look for among, any body of men under the British flag. With the present inspection by Majorgeneral Edwards and the appointment of Captain Russell as Defence Minuter the country will with reason expect* net onl;* that the volunteer force will be placed on L better and more liberal footing* but also, that every reasonable encouragement will be. given to the formation of elfin.crabs.—l am,, etc., Old Volunteer. Dunedin, October 3.6.

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Bibliographic details

DEFENCE., Issue 8048, 26 October 1889

Word Count

DEFENCE. Issue 8048, 26 October 1889

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