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Commissions (Nomination Of Candidates)

Volume 416: debated on Thursday 12 April 1945

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asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware of an A.C.I. which forbids visits by colonels of regiments to O.C.T.U.s with a view to getting personal touch with candidates for commissions in their regiments; what is the reason for this Order; and whether he will cause it to be cancelled as soon as possible.

I am aware of the instruction referred to. The selection and posting to regiments of officer cadets is the responsibility of the War Office in the light of Army requirements as a whole, and cannot depend entirely on personal preferences for particular regiments, or on personal recommendations.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the existence of War Office Letter 26 General /5183, issued to all colonels of regiments, in which the responsibilities of colonels of regiments are laid down, and that the first of those responsibilities is

"nominating suitable candidates for commissions in the regiment''?
Will the right hon. Gentleman say how those instructions are to be carried out, in view of the recent arrangements to which he has made reference?

I am much obliged to the hon. and gallant Gentleman for directing my attention to this rule. I must say that it is no desire of mine that these candidates should be segregated from visitors, but I must make it clear that the War Office have a responsibility in this matter which it cannot delegate to anyone, officers or anybody else.

Will the Secretary of State for War say whether this letter, to which the hon. and gallant Gentleman has referred, will be cancelled or withdrawn, or what will be done about it?