HC Deb 29 April 1851 vol 116 c307

wished to ask the right hon. Secretary at War whether it was intended that the examination of candidates for commissions in the Army should continue to be conducted by the Professors at Sandhurst College, who were the authors of manuals and other publications of a similar character upon subjects on which the candidates were required to be examined? also, whether he intended to propose to the House during the present Session the appointment of "Captains of Instruction" in regiments of cavalry and infantry? also, what would be the cost of this addition to our military establishment, and whether it would not amount to at least the sum of 30,000l. per annum?


, in reply to the first question, said, that he had already stated, in the discussion on the Army Estimates, that he entirely disapproved, of the examination of officers being conducted by those who were authors of manuals prepared for the purpose. He had represented the state of the case to the authorities at the Horse Guards, and their attention was directed to it. With reference to the other question, he thought the hon. and gallant Member had rather taken up a mere suggestion which he (Mr. Fox Maule) had thrown out during the discussion on the Army Estimates, as if it were a plan entirely arranged. No such plan had been decided on at present. It was only an idea of his, to enable officers who had to go through a somewhat strict examination, to be in some manner prepared for it by passing through a preliminary examination. He was able now to state that the Commander-in-Chief did not intend to insist on any officer passing his second examination who had not passed a preliminary examination on getting his commission; but if any officer chose to pass through a second examination, in order to bring his name more prominently forward for promotion, there would be no objection to his doing so. But whenever an officer who had once been examined came to be in the position of getting promotion to a troop or a company, he would be expected to pass through another examination. With regard to the question on the point of the expense, it was impossible at present to give an accurate answer, but he did not believe it would amount to anything like the sum which the hon. and gallant Gentleman had named.

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