MR. GIBSON BOWLES
To ask the Secretary to the Admiralty, by whom 835 will the nominations to compete for entrance to the "Britannia" for cadet-ships for the Executive Officers, Engineers, and Royal Marine Officers be granted under the new Admiralty Scheme. How many nominations for naval cadetships for Executive Officers alone were granted by the First Lord during the year 1902, and how many is it estimated that he will grant during the year 1903 for the whole of the three branches, viz., Executive, Engineers, and Marines. Who, under the new scheme, will decide whether, among the applicants for nomination, other things are equal, and whether preference shall or shall not be given to those among them whose parents declare that the boys aged 12 will be ready at the age of 20 to enter either of the three branches. And will the Admiralty consider whether it would not be preferable to establish a system of open competition for all the cadetships.
(Answered by Mr. Arnold-Forster.) The intention is that the system under which nominations are granted for the naval cadetship examinations shall continue under the new scheme generally on the same lines as heretofore. The number of candidates who competed in the examinations for cadetships in 1902 on the nomination of the First Lord was 640 (including in this number those who competed more than once), and as far as can be foreseen at present, the number of nominations for the various examinations under both the old and new schemes during 1903 is likely to be about 750. The First Lord of the Admiralty is the ultimate authority in all matters connected with the entry of cadets. The answer to the last part of the Question is in the negative.