HC Deb 07 May 1858 vol 150 c251

said, he would beg to ask the Secretary for War whether any gentlemen have been admitted to the Royal Academy of Woolwich since the 1st of January last, who have not undergone the competitive examination rendered necessary by the Warrant promulgated by the late Secretary for War.


In answer, Sir, to the question of the hon. Member, I beg leave to state that no gentlemen have been admitted to the establishment at Woolwich except strictly in conformity with the principle laid down on the introduction of the system of competitive examination in the year 1855. When that principle was adopted all further admissions into the preparatory school at Carshalton was put a stop to; Lord Panmure, however, thought it absolutely necessary to keep faith with the cadets who were then in that establishment, and it was decided by him that on their attaining the age of fifteen they should be subjected to a modified examination equal in severity to that which they had previously to undergo for admission to Woolwich. On passing that examination, they were allowed to remain another year at Carshalton; and, at the expiration of that period, they were to be subjected to a second modified examination, increasing in severity in proportion to their advance in age. When they had passed that second examination, they were to be admitted to the academy at Woolwich, In this manner the cadets at Carshalton were being gradually absorbed into the academy at Woolwich; and in January last seven of them, having passed the second examination to which he had referred, had been admitted to that establishment. It was intended, by the plan which was adopted by the late Government when they were in office, but which has been repudiated by them since they quitted office, that those cadets at Carshalton should be transferred to Sandhurst; but as they will now be deprived of the advantage to which they were entitled—namely, admission to the scientific branch of the army—I cannot see any other means of keeping faith with them than by maintaining, at a great expense to the public, the establishment at Carshalton until their education shall be completed.

On Motion for the adjournment of the House at rising until Monday