HC Deb 02 March 1905 vol 142 cc179-80

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War, having regard to the fact that twenty places in the Staff College are open to Army officers in each year, which, as the result of an examination, are awarded as follows, two to the Royal Engineers, four to the Artillery, and fourteen to the Cavalry and Infantry, and seeing that it constantly happens that as the result of the examination a number of Engineer and Artillery officers who are unsuccessful come out higher in the examination than many of the Infantry and Cavalry candidates who are successful, whether he will explain why this system is adopted of selecting for the most important and responsible positions officers who have by examination distinctly proved their inferiority.


The proficiency in mathematics which Artillery I and Engineer officers are obliged to attain before entering the Army gives them a special advantage in that subject, while in the military subjects Cavalry and Infantry officers more than hold their own. In these circumstances it is considered that mathematics should not be allowed to turn the scale against Cavalry and Infantry, and it is held to be fair and in the interests of the service to allot a certain proportion of nominations to each arm of the service. I must also point out that Staff appointments are allotted according to order of merit in passing out of the college, a test in which Cavalry and Infantry officers well hold their own with those of the Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers.