§ MR. JEFFREYS (Hants,) Basingstoke
asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether it is intended to put in force Army Order 293 of July, 1888, which enacts that after the 1st of January next all soldiers will have to take a first-class certificate of education before promotion to the rank of warrant officers; and, whether he is aware that this Order will debar many able and deserving old soldiers, colour sergeants of 18 or 20 years' service and others, from obtaining the position to which they have looked forward for many years?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. E. STANHOPE) (Lincolnshire, Horncastle)
The Army Order referred to will be so far modified that the first-class certificate will be not regarded as indispensable in regard to promotion of non-commissioned officers to the rank next above that held by them when the Order was issued. It is considered that this sufficiently protects the interests of men already serving; while the Order itself acts as a direct encouragement to men of superior education to enter the ranks of the Army. I may also remark that warrant rank is a comparatively new creation; and that the non-commissioned officers in question could not have looked forward to it at the time they entered the Army.