§ 8 and 9. Mr. NIELD
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War (1) whether the standard of efficiency of the non-commissioned officers and men of the 10th Service Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers is so high that already and under very restrictive administration nearly 200 commissions have been granted to men; whether he is aware that there are no less than 600 of the men of this battalion who are in every respect competent to receive commissions and who are of much more value than the many persons who are daily receiving commissions; and whether, having regard to these circumstances and also to the suitability of the men from a social point of view, he will cause the restrictions which at present preclude these men applying for commissions to be removed; and (2) whether, owing to the standard of efficiency attained by the non-commissioned rank and file in the 10th Service Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers and having regard to the circumstances that socially and in all other respects they are of the class from which the best officers are obtained, he will consider if the interests of the country will be better served by offering commissions to such of the rank and file of this battalion as are desirous of accepting them, and so distributing them over various regiments 180 rather than sacrificing these men as a unit to the exigencies of service in the field?
§ Mr. TENNANT
Commissions have been granted to a considerable number of noncommissioned officers and men of the 10th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, and recommendations are still being received from the commanding officer of that battalion, who has instructions to submit the names of all soldiers serving in his unit who are candidates for appointment to commissions and whom he can recommend as in all respects suitable for such appointment, provided the efficiency of the unit as a whole does not suffer. I do not know what the number may be of those who are eligible for recommendation on these conditions, but I am sure the hon. Gentleman will recognise that it must be left to the commanding officer to decide whether any particular soldier shall or shall not be recommended at once for a commission.