HC Deb 16 February 1893 vol 8 cc1583-4
MR. VICARY GIBBS (Herts, St. Alban's)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War if it is a fact that in October, 1890, five commissions in the Royal Artillery were promised to duly qualified officers from the Artillery Militia, on the faith of which assurance several gentlemen accepted commissions in the latter Force; and whether these promises have been fulfilled?


Five commissions half-yearly in the Royal Artillery were promised in 1889 to officers of the Artillery Militia. With the exception of one half-year, when only three candidates qualified, five commissions have been given in each half-year. Of the five who last passed two have received commissions, and three are awaiting the Gazette. Up to this time, therefore, the promise made has been amply fulfilled. In December, 1891, it was, however, publicly notified that this mode of entrance to the Royal Artillery would cease after the examination in March, 1893; but on re-consideration it has been determined to continue it to the extent of four commissions yearly. There are not at present vacancies for more?


Does not the right hon. Gentleman consider it a breach of faith, when gentlemen have accepted commissions in the Militia on the faith of the promise of a certain number of commissions being set apart for Militia officers in the Royal Artillery, to reduce the number of such commissions after the gentlemen have gone to the expense of obtaining uniforms, &c.?


I have already explained that early warning was given of the intention to do this. I do not think there can be many cases in which substantial injustice was done.


I know of cases. I shall take another opportunity of raising this question.