§ SIR BARRINGTON SIMEON (Southampton)
On behalf of the hon. Member for North Camberwell (Major DALBIAC), I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether it is usual in the case of promotion or appointment of an officer to the command of a battalion to take into consideration the opinion and reports of his commanding officer concerning his fitness and ability; and, if so, upon what grounds did the General Officer commanding at Chester recommend for command the officer now commanding the 3rd Volunteer Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers, in direct disregard of the reports concerning him by his own commanding officer, and why did be repeatedly refuse to see the commanding officer of the battalion on the subject when an interview was requested; and whether he is aware that the commanding officer had preferred serious charges against him (the officer now commanding the 3rd Volunteer Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers) and demanded a Court of inquiry to investigate the matter, which application was entirely ignored by the General Officer commanding at Chester?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. BRODRICK,) Surrey, Guildford
The General Officer Commanding the District did duly consider the report of the officer commanding the corps and also that of the Colonel commanding the regimental district hi forwarding it. Considerable friction appears to have existed between the officer commanding and the officer reported on, and, after considering the reports, the General Officer Commanding, in the exercise of his discretion, recommended the appointment of the present Commanding Officer of the 3rd Battalion, and the Secretary of State is not prepared to interfere with the discretion so exercised. The General Officer Commanding denies that he has refused to give an interview to the officer who objected to the appointment. The granting or not of a Court of Inquiry 1585 was entirely A matter for the consideration of the General Officer Commanding, and not for that of the officer applying for it.