HC Deb 30 October 1908 vol 195 cc634-5
MR. BELLAIRS (Lynn Regis)

To ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether anything has yet been done for the four private students who passed so well at the examination at Keyham last summer; whether he has taken into consideration that the private students understood from a circular sent out by the captain of the college that any vacancies arising from the failure of any of the Keyham engineer cadets would be filled from the private students, and four engineer cadets actually did fail, but have boon allowed an extra year's study; and whether he will consider favourably their position, in view of the fact that only one-third of the usual number of entries have been made from Keyham this year.

(Answered, by Mr. McKenna.) Three of the seven private students referred to have been granted commissions in the place of two engineer cadets transferred to naval construction cadets and one withdrawn. The regulations for the admission of the private students in question made it clear that they would have the same advantages as engineer and construction cadets in respect of residence, training, and practical work, without any obligation to join His Majesty's service at the end of their time, and that, in the event of vacancies occurring among the engineer cadets owing to exceptional causes, an opportunity would be given to them of filling such vacancies. Only the three vacancies referred to in the foregoing paragraph have occurred, and these have been filled by the first three private students. No vacancies have been caused by the retention of four engineer cadets for a fifth year. The time engineer cadets may be retained at Keyham is five years, but those who reach a certain standard at the end of four years pass out then. The engineer cadets referred to did not reach that standard, but they have not failed to pass for engineer sub-lieutenant. The numbers passing out of Keyham are governed by the entries of previous years, which were regulated according to the requirements of the service.