HC Deb 25 July 1862 vol 168 cc832-4

said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for India, What is doing with reference to the Delhi, Lucknow, Kirwee, and Indian Prize Money generally; and, the reasons for the long delay which has taken place in posting the officers of the 19th, 20th, and 21st Hussars, now in India, they having volunteered for those regiments nearly eighteen months ago?


said, that war- rants had been issued for the distribution of the Delhi and Lucknow prize money. The distribution in India of the former commenced on the 1st of December last, and that of the latter on the 31st of December. The rolls which showed the shares which had not been paid in India, and would therefore be paid in England, had just reached this country. Those rolls, as far as they related to Her Majesty's Forces, had been sent that morning to the Commissioners of Chelsea Hospital, and the distribution of the shares would commence there on the 1st of September next. So far as the officers and men of the late East India Company's local army was concerned, the distribution of the unpaid shares would commence at the same date at the India Office. The rolls relating to the unpaid shares of the Lucknow prize money had not yet been received from India; but, judging from the date at which the distribution commenced in India, they were expected to arrive by every mail. As soon as they reached this country, steps would be taken for the distribution of the unpaid shares at Chelsea Hospital and at the India Office in the same way as the Delhi prize money. With respect to what he might term the minor prize moneys, the principle of their distribution had been decided upon by the Treasury, and the Law Officers of the Crown had been instructed to prepare a Royal Warrant on the subject. Some delay had arisen in the preparation of the warrant, in consequence of the unfortunate illness of the Queen's Advocate; but there would be no further postponement in the matter, inasmuch as it had been placed in the hands of the Admiralty Advocate, in order that the warrant might be issued at once. In the case of the Kirwee booty a question had been raised as to the forces which had a right to share in it, and the delay in coming to a decision as to the principle on which it should be distributed had arisen from an anxiety on the part of the Treasury and the Government that the advocates of the claims of the forces on either side might have an opportunity of stating fully the case of the larger and smaller forces which claimed to share in the prize. In reply to the last question, he might state that considerable delay had no doubt occurred in posting the officers to whom it referred. It was only lately that his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State had addressed a Despatch to the Government of India on that subject, requesting that no unnecessary postponement might take place. The House must recollect, however, that it was a matter of exceeding difficulty to redeem the pledge given to the officers of the old local regiments, that their position in the new regiments should not be worse than in the old, and at the same time to place in suitable positions the other officers who had volunteered for those regiments.