23 APRIL 1859, Page 14


MAJOR-GENERAL LORD DE B,os has published a small pamphlet on army examinational' which is timely and very well worth attention. It obviously never could have been intended by those who promoted and those who adopted and extended the system of army examinations, that it should be so applied as to include pert and precocious schoolboys and exclude their slower and duller rivals who were not capable of taking in the cram of the military tutors. Nothing, not even ignorance, is worse than cram ; yea, pedantry is much worse, and a get of pedantic officers may be the result of examinations which almost disregard everything but mere parrot-learning, and exact answers to questions that might have been invented by Priscian himself. The issue is not examinations or no examinations, but examina- tions appropriate to the purpose sought, or the reverse. Any system which excludes men who would make good regimental officers is thereby condemned. But the men who would, make the best, regimental officers are frequently those who could not pass an examination. The men of exceptional nature, men who are the stuff out of which generals are made, would, under an im- partial administration of the army, take care of:themselves. These are necessarily rare. You cannot make them by examinations, nor can you find them by examinations, All that the military authorities can do for them is to give them fair play. But every facility should be given for the admission of men into the army whose practical qualities will make them good regi- mental officers, and every means should be taken when you have got them to lead them to improve and develop their practical capacities.

We have not now time or space to say out fully the reflections suggested by the pamphlet of Lord De Roe. Some of our conclusions on the subject may, perhaps, be not those in which.he will concur. At present we confine ourselves to calling the attention of those who are interested in this import- ant subject to the remarks of one who has thought much upon it, and who has had considerable experience.

• Remarks on the New Examination System for the Army. Ey Major-General Lord de Roe. Published by Ridgway.