HC Deb 22 May 1871 vol 206 cc1111-2

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether his attention has been called to the recent promotion of a junior Captain in the Royal Tyrone Fusiliers to the rank of Major in that regiment, this junior Captain having never served in the Army and only ten years in the Militia, whilst three Captains were passed over, including the senior Captain, who had served for five years in the Army, chiefly on Foreign Service?


said, that he would put a Question as an addition to that of his hon. and learned Friend, because the forms of the House prevented his making a statement on the subject. He, however, wished to be allowed to state that the present Lord Lieutenant of Tyrone disposed of his patronage, whether civil or military, fairly, honestly, and impartially, and to the satisfaction of all parties. He begged to ask the Secretary of State for War, Whether the officer who has been promoted to a Majority in the Royal Tyrone Fusiliers has not specially qualified himself for promotion by having obtained a first class certificate at Hythe; and, whether his intelligence and zeal have not caused the authorities to take the unusual step of appointing him (after his promotion as a Field Officer) to the post of Musketry Instructor to his regiment?


said, in reply, that the officer referred to (Major M'Clintock) was recommended for his majority in this regiment by the lieutenant colonel of the regiment and the Lord Lieutenant of the county. The latter stated in his recommendation that he was not the senior captain, but there were reasons for believing that the promotion would conduce to the interests of the service. It was true that he passed over the head of an officer who had previously served in the Army, but it was 16 years since the officer so passed over had left the service, in which he had never risen above the rank of lieutenant. It was also true that the officer promoted was in possession of a second-class certificate from Hythe, and though it was not necessary that officer should obtain this certificate, its possession showed zeal and some military qualifications. It was also true that he was at present engaged in performing the duties of Musketry Instructor to the regiment. As hon. Members were aware, it was sometimes extremely desirable that gentlemen of rank and position in connection with the county should be promoted to vacant majorities, and, as far as he had been able to ascertain, the qualifications of Major M'Clintock were accompanied by an entire fitness for the post.