§ MAJOR NOLAN
asked the Secretary of State for War, What number of first Commissions, exclusive of those of Riding Master and Quartermaster, are annually granted to soldiers who have served in the ranks, and what number to gentlemen who have not passed through the ranks; and, if he intends to take measures to increase the proportion granted to the former class?
§ MR. CHILDERS
Sir, the rule between 1871 and 1880 was that five commissions might be annually granted to non - commissioned officers, excluding those promoted as quartermasters, riding masters, and officers of the Coast Brigade of Artillery; but, as a matter of fact, rather more than six have been granted in consequence of special cases 561 having been sanctioned by the Secretary of State. I raised last year the fixed number for the line from five to ten a-year. The total number of other commissions granted of late has averaged 393 yearly; but under the new plan of organization it will be normally about 50 less. I do not propose, without further experience, to make a second addition to the number of promotions from the ranks.