Sandhurst Cadets

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 22nd July 1952.

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Photo of Mr Stephen Swingler Mr Stephen Swingler , Newcastle-under-Lyme 12:00 am, 22nd July 1952

asked the Secretary of State for War what percentages of the cadets at present training at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, were educated at public schools, grammar schools, and secondary modern schools, respectively.

Photo of Mr Anthony Head Mr Anthony Head , Carshalton

The percentages for the cadets under training for the British Army are 67 from the headmasters' conference schools, 22 from grammar schools, 4 from secondary modern schools and 10.6 from other schools. The other schools include various Army schools and schools overseas.

Photo of Mr Stephen Swingler Mr Stephen Swingler , Newcastle-under-Lyme

To what extent is preference given at Sandhurst to candidates with a public school education? In view of the fact that the overwhelming majority of cadets come from that minority which is privileged to get a public school education, will the right hon. Gentleman show these figures to the Minister of Education and emphasise the importance of getting more equal opportunities of secondary education, in order to get a more representative cross-section of cadet?

Photo of Mr Anthony Head Mr Anthony Head , Carshalton

I am satisfied that these boards are entirely impartial in their selection of these young men. It has fallen to my lot to start a school with the express purpose of getting to Sandhurst a larger proportion of secondary and grammar school boys.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Thompson Mr Kenneth Thompson , Liverpool, Walton

Is my right hon. Friend aware that if he sets too high a figure for the entrance of public school candidates into Sandhurst, he runs a great danger of filling the Army with too many friends of hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite?

Photo of Mr George Wigg Mr George Wigg , Dudley

How many officers of the Brigade of Guards are there who have not attended other than State schools?

Photo of Mr Anthony Head Mr Anthony Head , Carshalton

I could not answer that without notice. The hon. Member's bee in his bonnet on this subject is unduly buzzing.

Photo of Sir Gerald Nabarro Sir Gerald Nabarro , Kidderminster

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the egalitarian qualities of the British Army are best demonstrated by the fact that two former Chiefs of the Imperial General Staff, of nonpublic school origin, have won promotion from the ranks?