§ 1. Sir Gilbert Longden
asked the Minister of State for Defence why the teaching of languages has been discontinued at the Royal Military Academy.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Defence for the Army (Mr. Peter Blaker)
Language training is still available for those who stay on at Sandhurst and need it to prepare for university degree courses. It is preferable that young officers generally should concentrate during the limited amount of time available for initial academic training on subjects which are professionally essential to them. A wide variety of language training facilities will continue to be available as part of an officer's further education after leaving Sandhurst.
§ Sir Gilbert Longden
I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that answer, which is somewhat reassuring. It seems to be a strange time to discontinue language teaching just when we have entered the Community.
§ Mr. Blaker
I assure my hon. Friend that the new arrangements do not reflect any lessening of the importance that the Army attaches to the study of languages. They concern only the initial stages of training. Language training for officers will be one of the subjects to be studied by the independent committee set up by my right hon. Friend to review the education of officers.
§ Mr. Cormack
Will my hon. Friend ensure that advertisements for the Army are written in the English language?