19 AUGUST 1905, Page 14


SIR,—You have always shown yourself so sympathetic in the matter of schoolboy rifle-shooting that I venture to make a suggestion which I believe may be of value even as things now are, but of greater value if, as Lord Roberts desires, every boy has, as a part of his education, to shoot a course. My suggestion is that the results of every school course shot should be collected tabulated and assigned a figure of merit. If this result were published regularly, every boy when shooting his course would feel that be had the honour of his school at stake, and so indirectly the honour of his country. I cannot help feeling that nowadays the Ashburton Competition offers us a shadow rather than a substance. The competition is so keen that there must be a tendency towards specialising in the shooting of a few ; it is possible for a school to win the Shield with not more than thirty boys who can shoot on a range. Specialising in shooting would be harmless enough if every boy had first of all to shoot a recognised course ; for, Sir, you will readily agree that what the nation requires is that all her sons should shoot. The fact that England wins the Palma Trophy does not of necessity prove England's ability to shoot in defence of her shores.—I am, Sir, &c.,

Dulwich College, S.E. W. R. M. LEAXE.