§ CAPTAIN NORTON (Newington, W.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether, in view of the fact that Militia officers who resigned and enlisted to get to South Africa lost the chance of obtaining commissions in the line without examination, as was done by their comrades who remained at home, he will consider the advisability of candidates both with and without service marks competing ill the same category, service marks being given according to length and character of service, and of removing the restrictions as to the counting of service marks from March last only, also of not limiting the time for the counting of such marks to March next.
The effect of the hon. Member's proposals would be to give the candidates claiming service marks an unfair advantage over the other competitors, and his suggestion to give service marks according to character of service is impracticable. I am not therefore prepared to make the alterations suggested. All candidates who have been in South Africa will have had nearly twelve months in which to prepare themselves before the examination in September, 1903.