HC Deb 09 July 1863 vol 172 cc434-5

said, in the absence of his hon. and gallant Friend (Colonel Sykes), he would beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War, Whether the roster of relief of the Cavalry Regiments in India is interrupted in the case of the Queen's Bays, which had been ordered home in November 1861, at which time the regiment was greatly reduced by the loss of ten officers and 161 men in four years, and by volunteering, and which still remains below its strength?


replied, that the arrangements with respect to the sending out and recalling of regiments on foreign service were matters which were entirely within the control of the Commander-in-Chief. The Commander-in-Chief was not bound by any particular rule, but it was his duty to make such arrangements as might appear to him most conducive to the public service. With respect to this particular case, it became necessary at the termination of the mutiny to establish some roster for the return of regiments, and his Royal Highness in preparing it took into consideration the previous foreign active service of the several regiments. Although the Queen Bay's had been one of the first regiments sent out, but very few months elapsed before they were followed by other regiments. On the principle laid down by his Royal Highness, instead of being the first, their place was low down on the list, and no orders had been ever sent out from home to recall them. He believed, that when the reduction of the cavalry force in India was about to be made, the Commander-in-Chief in India gave the Queen's Bays notice to hold themselves in readiness to return. However, in consequence of the roster, their position was altered, and they had never received the order to return.