Dartmouth Entry (Committee)

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Royal Navy – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30th July 1952.

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Terms of ReferenceThe Working Party are asked to review the scope of the present methods of officer recruitment in the Executive, Engineering and Supply Branches and to report whether in their view the scope of those entries could be widened sufficiently to provide adequate numbers or whether some alternative method or methods of entry should be introduced. The committee will be furnished with information concerning the requirements for officers of the various branches and the numbers entered for the competitions of the last few years.They are also asked to examine what additional sources might he available to any alternative method of entry, what sort of results would he likely to flow from the opening up of those sources, and how such sources might best be tapped.In considering alternative methods of entry, the Working Party should bear in mind not only that the prime aim is to secure the best possible officers for the Royal Navy but also the necessity that any alternative method which may be introduced must be one which will give a fair chance to every boy who has the qualities and qualifications required as a foundation for training as a Naval Officer, whatever his social background or type of school. In the light of this, they should consider:
  1. (i) at what age or in what age range an additional entry should be and whether the age should be the same for candidates from all types of school;
  2. (ii) whether there should be fixed quotas of vacancies for candidates from different types of school;
  3. (iii) whether a written examination or an interview should be regarded as the principal criterion for judging boys of whatever age might be chosen;
  4. (iv) whether such a written examination should consist wholly of subjects which would normally be expected to come within a boy's school curriculum or the subjects should he governed in any way by reference to the requirements of a Naval career; and
  5. (v) how far boys of whatever age might be chosen could be expected to commit themselves either to a Naval career generally or to any particular Branch of the Royal Navy.
They are asked to make recommendations to the Board of Admiralty upon these points.