HC Deb 13 April 1921 vol 140 cc1120-1W

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that before 1900 the three branches of the Artillery Service, namely, the Royal Horse Artillery, the Royal Field Artillery, and the Royal Garrison Artillery, were all on one list as regards promotion, and that when the regiment was split into the three branches an undertaking was given that none of these branches would suffer relatively as regards promotion; whether he will explain why during the War the Royal Garrison Artillery were deprived of their fair share of such substantive promotion; whether he is aware of the number of officers with senior service as captains in the Royal Garrison Artillery as compared with the mounted branches; whether he will take steps to prevent captains with long service to their credit, who have acted as majors both in the field and out of it in the Royal Garrison Artillery, being relatively penalized and thereby discouraged in their service; and, if the units are once more brigaded together, will he provide that these captains with senior service in the Royal Garrison Artillery should not find themselves under the personal command of their juniors?


There are two lists for promotion in the Royal Artillery, the Royal Horse Artillery and the Royal Field Artillery being on the same list. As promotion is made to fill vacancies in the Establishment it is impossible to guarantee an equal rate of promotion in two separate lists as the rate depends on the number of casualties (deaths, retirements, etc.) and on the size of the Establishment. Increase of Establishment and a higher rate of casualties result in a proportionate increase in the rate of promotion, and it is from these causes that promotion in the Royal Field Artillery is quicker than in the Royal Garrison Artillery.


asked the Secretary of State for War whether, in view of the present stagnation in Army promotion, all majors employed extra regimentally may not in future be seconded for such employment and captains promoted in their places?


I am not aware what arm of the Service my hon. Friend has in mind, but in the infantry promotion to major is, on the whole, more rapid than it was in 1914. I am afraid I can see no ground for introducing a change which would throw an additional charge on Army Votes.