HC Deb 21 February 1887 vol 311 c156
MR. JOHNSTON (Belfast, S.)

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether English literature is excluded from the educational programme of the candidates for commissions in the English Army, while the study of French and German literature is obligatory on those who seek commissions in the French and German Armies respectively; and, if so, whether he will consider the desirability of instituting such a course of study as would enable officers in Her Majesty's Service to become acquainted with the literature of the United Kingdom?

THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. E. STANHOPE) (Lincolnshire, Horncastle)

After very careful consideration, the examination for entrance into the Royal Military College was changed in 1885 by substituting papers on English history generally, with exact and detailed knowledge of a specified period and an essay on a given subject, for an examination in certain Old English writers, such as Chaucer, Bacon, &c. It was found that the latter tended to encourage an unsatisfactory system of cramming.