HC Deb 07 August 1905 vol 151 cc373-4

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War what is, in the event of war, the present shortage o officers in the Regular Army, Militia, and Volunteers; whether candidates for commissions have decreased recently; and if so, what steps are being taken by the Government to remedy such shortage.


The number of officers which would be required in the event of a war must depend upon the magnitude of the war in which it is supposed that we are engaged; under these circumstances, only hypothetical figures could be given and these would be liable to misconstruction. The number of candidates for commissions in the Regular Army has not diminished, except as regards those desiring commissions in the Guards and the cavalry. A temporary arrangement has been made to fill the Guards vacancies, and the question of supplying officers for the cavalry is now receiving the attention of the Army Council. The Army Council is desirous of increasing; the number of candidates who enter the Army, but this has hitherto been found impossible, owing to the want of accommodation at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst; when funds are available for adding to the capacity of the college it is hoped that this difficulty may be surmounted. I may add that we have made special arrangements for obtaining additional candidates from the University.