§ MR. A. M. BROOKFIELD (Sussex, Rye)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether his attention has 645 been directed to the fact that in the last Annual Report of the Inspector General of recruiting, some stress is laid on a gradual improvement having taken place in the social position of the recruits; whether such improvement is observable in the educational acquirement of the recruits; and whether, having regard to the importance of securing for the modern soldier a fair prospect of civil employment upon leaving the colours, he will reconsider the desirability of offering special encouragement to warrant or non-commissioned officers and men, in availing themselves of such facilities for technical education as the various garrison towns may afford?
§ MR. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
As compulsory attendance at school was abolished for soldiers in 1886 there are no means of ascertaining the educational acquirements of recruits. Little more than one-third of the men hold certificates of education, but there is a steady and satisfactory increase in the number of those who hold first and second class certificates. As regards the offer of encouragement to non-commissioned officers and men to improve their knowledge by taking advantage of technical schools, this is a very excellent object, and while I have nothing to add to my reply of Tuesday last, I will bear the matter in mind.
§ MAJOR RASCH (Essex, S.E.)
asked, with reference to the last paragraph of the question whether the right hon. Gentleman was aware that out of 8,000 discharged soldiers on the official register last year only 350 had obtained employment under Government, and whether the right hon. Gentleman endorsed the optimistic report of the Inspector General of recruiting with reference to the recruiting establishment.
§ MR. SPEAKER
called the hon. Member to Order, on the ground that the matter did not arise out of the question on the Order Paper.