HC Deb 18 June 1874 vol 220 cc74-5

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether he will, with a view to its remedy, consider the injustice done to the superior officers of the Cavalry by a late warrant reducing the pay of a Colonel of a Cavalry Regiment to that of one of Infantry; whether his attention has been called to the fact, that although these officers received the difference between Cavalry and Infantry when they retired on half pay, yet that they had for many years been losing the interest of and risking with their lives very much larger sums on their commissions than officers of corresponding rank in the Infantry; and, whether he is aware that when Mr. Sydney Herbert equalized the prices of Army Commissions, he, for the above and other reasons, did not think it right to reduce the emoluments of Cavalry Colonels?


Sir, my attention has been called by the Question put to me by the gallant General to the Warrant to which he has referred. Up to 1860 the price of Cavalry Commissions was much higher than that of Infantry Commissions, but it was then equalized by Mr. Sidney Herbert. The rates of pay were also higher than in the Infantry. When Mr. Herbert equalized the price of Army Commissions, he proposed, and had the assent of the Horse Guards to the propositions, first that Cavalry Officers who had exchanged to Infantry or with a half-pay Infantry Officer and received the difference should not, as previously, be required to repay the difference before they could be appointed Colonels of Cavalry Regiments, but that in lieu of such repayment they should only receive the pay of an Infantry Colonelcy on appointment to a Cavalry Regiment as Colonel; secondly, that these who had paid the old Cavalry rate for their Field Officers' Commissions should be allowed the Cavalry rate of Colonel's pay; thirdly that these who had not paid the old rates should receive Infantry rates of pay. To this third proposition the Horse Guards did not assent, and in consequence Mr. Herbert made a further proposal, with a view to the more speedy establishment of one rate of Colonels' pay, to pay from the Reserve Fund to Officers of Classes 2 and 3 any difference on the value of their Commissions to which they might be entitled. These intentions of Mr. Herbert were not carried into effect by Warrant, and, therefore, remained unfulfilled until the Warrant of last year was issued.


gave Notice that, in consequence of the Answer given by the right hon. Gentleman, and as the case deeply affected the vested rights and interests of Cavalry officers, he should on an early clay call the attention of the House to the whole subject.