I could point out to my friend in the Patent Act and dozens of Acts passed in this House the application of the word ' foreigner ' to British subjects. In fact, it is the correct grammatical expression to use in certain circumstances. My hon. friend has in view the contingency that men not connected with the militia might use a rifle range and cause an accident, and he says that in such case the government should not be held liable. But a rifle range under the control of the government has to be regulated and controlled in some way, so that every passerby cannot make use of it. If my hon. friend has a piece of property, he does not allow every Tom, Dick and Harry to go in and use it at his sweet will. He controls his own property, and it would be the business of the government to control that rifle range in such a way that no one could use it except under certain regulations. I think there are guardians to these ranges.
Would such a range come within the meaning of a rifle range as described in section 68 ' at or near as possible to the headquarters of every regimental division, there may be provided a rifle range with suitable butts, targets and other necessary appliances.
Yes. In rear of these ranges there is a line of lire, and that line gets wider the further back it goes. We have to rent land from the farmers and give them notice every time we are using the range. And immediately in rear of the butts, where a wagon road crosses the line of fire, we station a man who signals us whenever
a team approaches. But supposing somebody, who does not know the rules should practice on that range and an accident happen, who would be responsible ? We cannot afford to keep a guardian on that range all the year round.
There are lots of rifle clubs which are not headquarter clubs at all. There are four or five in my county that have nothing to do with the militia but are rifle clubs coming under the Militia Act. I have had complaints come to me concerning these clubs under the impression that the Militia Departmnt had control of them. These clubs do the best they can, but as a rule they can only get short ranges, and if the government wish to encourage these clubs, they should put them under some control. But if you were to make the government responsible for anything that might happen at any of these ranges, that might have the result of making those using them more careless.
Because you can see at once what the result will be. If institutions mentioned by my hon. friend engage in rifle shooting on what may be called private ranges, they take every precaution to prevent injury to others. But if you make the government responsible, there will be much less care exercised ; there will be much greater danger to the people and much greater expense to the government.
I think I see a way to meet the difficulty-by omitting the beginning of the paragraph and making this apply to rifle ranges of a certain description. as, ' Headquarters ' ranges or other designation to be supplied by the Department of Militia.