HC Deb 04 March 1915 vol 70 cc967-8

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether on the formation of the 118th Infantry Brigade inducements wore held out to old public school and university men that enlistment in the brigade would afford valuable training and experience for those desirous of obtaining commissions; whether during the first few months of the brigade's existence numerous applications for commissions were applied for and granted; whether since the middle of January commissions ceased to be granted, except under very exceptional circumstances; and whether, in view of the effect of this upon men who were induced to enlist in the brigade, he proposes to take any action in the matter?


I am not aware of the inducements held out by the committee which raised the brigade referred to by the hon. Gentleman, but War Office sanction to its formation was given with a view to the raising of four efficient battalions for the New Armies. The efficiency of such units is likely to be impaired if a large number of their non-commissioned officers and men are given commissions at one time. Commanding officers are therefore instructed carefully to consider each application and forward the names of suitable candidates when they can be spared without detriment to the unit. It is the case that there has been a diminution in the number of applications submitted from this brigade during the last few weeks.


Is it not a fact that it is no longer a public schools brigade, but is open to all the elementary schools in the country?


I am not aware of that.