HC Deb 11 November 1908 vol 196 cc257-8
SIR SEYMOUR KING (Hull, Central)

To ask the Under-Secretary of State for India, whether he is aware that thirty-one Sandhurst cadets for appointment to the unattached list for the Indian Army, who passed the entrance examination in June-July, 1899, were gazetted on 28th July, 1900, and, if qualified, will be promoted captains on 28th July, 1909, and that the Indian Army List for 1st July 1908, shows, by footnotes (pp. 138 to 149a), that twenty-six officers now graded below the above-mentioned thirty-one ex-Sandhurst cadets will receive promotion to captain before 28th July, 1908, owing to their being permitted to count as service for promotion time spent in South Africa as Militia officers; whether among these ex-Militia officers, who in some cases entered the Army without any examination whatever, are some who actually failed in the Sandhurst entrance examination of the summer of 1899; whether, as the result, these ex-Militia officers will supersede the ex-Sandhurst cadets who were regular officers months before the former, the ex-Sandhurst cadets being therefore penalised for their success in the entrance examination; whether this was the intention of the military authorities; and, if not, whether the Secretary of State will have the matter reconsidered with a view of preventing this injustice.

(Answered by Mr. Buchanan.) When it was decided that commissioned service in the South African War, previous to the attainment of a commission in the Regular Army, should be permitted to count towards promotion in the Indian Army, it was recognised that this concession would enable some officers specially commissioned in the Regular Army after field service to attain the successive ranks in the Indian Army sooner than officers commissioned from Sandhurst at earlier dates. I have no means of verifying the hon. Member's statement that amongst those who benefit by this concession are some unsuccessful competitors for Sandhurst; but, if it is so, the Secretary of State does not think that this is a sufficient reason for reconsidering the decision then arrived at.