HC Deb 15 March 1916 vol 80 cc2073-4
41. Sir F. CAWLEY

asked the Under-Secretary for War whether part of the 20th Battalion Royal Lancashire Fusiliers (Public Schools Battalion), who have done excellent service in the trenches, are to remain there whilst the other part, who have been kept at home, are to be converted into Officers' Training Corps units; whether some of the men in the battalion serving at the front have been refused permission to accept commissions offered them by the officer commanding; and whether he is aware that this distinction in favour of those who have seen no active service is giving dissatisfaction?


I presume my hon. Friend is referring to the 20th Royal Fusiliers, about which I answered several questions yesterday. There is no intention of converting any of the so-called "Public School Battalions" into Officers' Training Corps Units. I understand that a considerable number of men are wanted for commissions from these battalions, but there is no discrimination against those who have seen active service. Quite the contrary would be the case. As to the number of suitable candidates likely to be taken from each of the battalions in question I have at present no information. I am, however, in communication on the subject.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the very wide-spread grievance regarding the treatment received and the paucity of commissions, which have been given?


Yes, my hon. Friend has been good enough to make me acquainted with that, and I am, inquiring into it.

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