§ SIR WALTER PLUMMER (Newcastle-on-Tyne)
To ask the Secretary to the Admiralty, with reference to the approaching open competitive examination of candidates for entry as engineer cadets in His Majesty's Navy to be held in London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Devonport, and Portsmouth, if the Admiralty will consider whether Newcastle-on-Tyne, as the centre of the Tyneside engineering industry, might in future be added to the places where candidates are examined; and if the usual announcement of the date of such examinations could be inserted in one of the principal north country newspapers.
§ (Answered by Mr. Pretyman.) The date fixed by the Civil Service Commissioners for the sending in of names by candidates, February 15th, has now been passed, so no change would be possible in regard to the forthcoming examination in March. Newcastle was one of the centres of examination until the year 1899, when it was omitted, together with three other centres (when the regulations were under revision), for the reasons that there was a difficulty in conducting an examination at the same time in so many centres, and the number of candidates who came forward there was so small (in 1898 four only) as to make it a very expensive matter in proportion to any possible advantages to the services. The Civil Service Commissioners will be asked to notify the date of the next examination in the north country newspapers.