§ CAPTAIN KEARSLEY
said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for War, with reference to the late award of Commissions in the Royal Engineers to the Woolwich Cadets, If the six prizes (Commissions) referred to by him in his answer on the 16th instant were awarded according to merit (precedence in marks) or on what other principle; and if he will reconsider this subject with a view to a modification of the award, if all the six Commissions were not given according to the number of marks?
said, in reply, that at the period of the last examination to which the hon. and gallant Gentleman referred, there were five vacancies in the Engineers, and they were offered to, and accepted by, the five cadets who stood highest by having the greatest number of marks. The grant of the sixth commission was an exceptional case. The gentleman cadet who stood fifth in the class met with an accident a very short time previous to the examination, having fallen in the riding school and broken his thigh. There was no doubt, in the opinion of the Professors, that but for that circumstance he would have maintained at the examination as high a position as he had held in the class, and thus would have obtained a commission in the Engineers. There was also this in his favour—that an application was made on his behalf by the other cadets of the class themselves, and consequently he was appointed on a sixth vacancy occurring.