§ MAJOR RASCH (Essex, S.E.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he will sanction the relaxation of the last paragraph of Article 638, Royal Warrant, 1892, to admit noncommissioned officers who before 1st July, 1888, accepted and held appointments under Article 617, Royal Warrant, 1884, to the rank of quartermaster sergeant without necessarily obtaining a first-class certificate of education; and, if not, whether he will specially consider the cases of non-commissioned officers who have served 17 years and upwards?
§ *THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN,) Stirling, &c.
The Article referred to applies only to non-commissioned officers serving as clerks, and it requires the possession of a first-class certificate of education as a qualification for promotion to the highest grade. I am advised that men in this position are useless unless well-educated; and that any relaxation of the Rule would be prejudicial to the Service. The Rule has been relaxed for four years, which has given ample time to non-commissioned officers who aspire to the rank of quartermaster sergeant to qualify for the position.