THE EARL OF MILLTOWN
My Lords, seeing the noble Lord the Under Secretary of State for War in his place I beg to ask a question of which I have given him private notice. Your Lordships may remember that a few days ago, in answer to a question which was put to my noble Friend, he stated that some 30 commissions in the Royal Artillery and Engineers were to be placed at the disposal of Coopers Hill College. The question I have to ask my noble Friend is, whether the Engineering School of the University of Dublin will be allowed to compete for those commissions? They were allowed to do so on 426 a former occasion, when commissions were thus allotted, and it seems to me rather an injustice to exclude that School when it is turning out the highest class of engineers. What the authorities of that School ask is either to be allowed to compete with the Coopers Hill men, or that a certain number, say six, of those commissions should be allotted to them, or that the allotted commissions should be thrown open generally for competition to such Universities as possess engineering schools. It seems to me rather hard that the Coopers Hill School should be allowed that advantage against older colleges and schools. My Lords, the University of Dublin asks no favour, but only justice in this matter, and I trust my noble Friend will be able to give a favourable answer to the question.
THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Lord HARRIS)
My Lords, the offer of 30 commissions in the Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers having now been made to the Coopers Hill cadets, it will not be possible to throw the competition open to all educational establishments where there are engineering schools. Coopers Hill was selected for the offer of these commissions because the Military Authorities found on previous occasions, when other establishments than the Royal Military Academy supplied successful candidates, that those who came from Coopers Hill required no more training at the School of Military Engineering at Chatham than Woolwich cadets, whilst those who entered by open competition required a year longer at Chatham—namely, three years instead of two. As these gentlemen are admitted, as it is, some years later than Woolwich cadets, this delay is obviously a serious matter.