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East African Forces (Commissions)

Volume 498: debated on Tuesday 8 April 1952

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asked the Secretary of State for War what steps are being taken to train suitable Africans for commissioned rank in Her Majesty's East African Forces.

Much is being done by the Army to educate the East African soldier to qualify for commissioned rank and 10 hours a week are devoted to education. But, until the educational standard of the recruit on entry is raised, there will be great difficulty in finding candidates suitable for training for the grant of a Queen's commission.

Can my right hon. Friend say whether the commissioning of Africans has been agreed in principle for the future and, if so, whether there is any intention to open Makerere College with special courses for that purpose?

Yes, Sir, I am most anxious that we should make progress in commissioning officers in all our colonial forces. At the moment the difficulty is educational, and we are taking considerable steps to overcome it. The major difficulty is the basic education before the man arrives.