HC Deb 20 February 1885 vol 294 cc915-6

asked the Secretary of State for War, What steps have been taken to supply the deficiency of Militia officers, and if he will state to what number this deficiency has now risen?


Since the hon. Member put his Question to me in November I have carefully considered the replies gived by commanding officers of Militia regiments to the Circular issued to them. An overwhelming majority of these officers express strong opinions that the remedy for the deficiency of subaltern officers in this branch of the Service is to grant them greater facilities for entering the Regular Army. The normal number of Line commissions which will in future be granted to Militia officers was increased last year from 70 to 150. And, in addition to the normal number, I am now able to grant 35 commissions to the competitors who qualified, but were not successful, at the last examination. In the course of this year I shall also be able to grant a certain number of commissions in addition to the normal number; the result is that very few qualified candidates will fail to obtain commissions. When the facility with which a Line commission is obtained through the Militia becomes more widely known, I feel confident that a large number of officers will be attracted to this branch of the Service. Since November last the number of vacancies has been reduced from 857 to 773.