HC Deb 06 July 1920 vol 131 cc1245-6W

Mr. HANCOCK asked the Secretary of State for War whether any political test, formal or informal, will be applied to applicants for entry into the Army Educational Corps?


Mr. KILEY asked the Secretary of State for War whether an officer, warrant officer, or non-commissioned officer of the Army Educational Corps, who teaches the subject of citizenship, will be required to confine himself to an exposition of undisputed facts, or will deal also with opinions as to the nature, rights, and duties of citizenship; and, if the latter, whether he will be free to give expression to all opinions on the subject?

Mr. CHURCHILL: All officers, warrant officers, and non-commissioned officers of the Army Educational Corps, when dealing with the subject of history and citizenship, will in the first place explain administrative and social organisation as it exists, and, if it be necessary to set out differences of view, will avoid the ordinary controversies of politics so far as possible.

Mr. BRIANT asked the Secretary of State for War what is meant by the subject Elementary History of England and British Empire and Citizenship, in which all recruits are to obtain a third-class certificate within a reasonable time of joining the Army, the penalty for failure being dismissal; whether any examination papers for this certificate have yet been drawn up; and, if so, whether he will have them laid upon the Table of the House?

Mr. CHURCHILL: The hon. Member is, I think, under a misapprehension. The penalty for failure in the third-class certificate is not dismissal, though it is suggested in the Report on Educational Training in the British Army (Cmd. 568) recently issued, that when the results of the Education Act of 1918 are appreciably felt, it may be possible to make the third-class certificate a recruit's test. The content of the subject as a branch of instruction is best expressed in its title, and it will be the duty of the teacher to construct his syllabus and to adapt his teaching to the needs and conditions of the pupils with whom he is dealing. This subject does not form part of the third-class certificate until 1st July, 1921, and no examination papers have therefore as yet been prepared.