§ SIR HENRY HAVELOCK
asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether the Subalterns of Militia appointed to the Line by the Gazette of the 21st February 1879, and subsequent Gazettes, had passed through the "competitive examination on military subjects amongst themselves" enjoined and required by the Special Circular of the 2nd March 1878 (Clause 29, Auxiliary and Reserve Force Circular of 1878), or whether they were appointed by selection; and, if the latter, whether he will explain to the House the principle upon which this selection was made, and the reasons why the regulations contained in the above Circular were departed from?
§ COLONEL STANLEY
Sir, none of the subalterns in question passed the competitive military examination, which is a new examination, and additional to all those they had hitherto undergone; but in all other respects they were fully qualified for competition. When the reinforcements for the Cape were placed under orders in February, the necessity for the completion of the establishments was very urgent, and the only candidates immediately available for first appointments for the regiments were the lieutenants of Militia referred to; but they have served the required time in the Militia, and passed the preliminary examination as candidates for the competitive military examination in June next. All Militia candidates so situated have been appointed to the Line, and nearly all of them embarked for the Cape on the shortest notice. It was thought better to select those Militia candidates than to fill the vacancies by appointing young men from Sandhurst who had not yet completed their regular course of military study.