HC Deb 22 May 1879 vol 246 c1010

asked the Secretary of State for War, If the general rule in regiments of Cavalry and Infantry is that Officers hold their commands for five years only; if, however, there are certain exceptional regiments in which the Commanding Officers hold their commands for terms beyond five years, whether the practical effect of such exceptional retention of command will be to cause junior Officers to be retired against their will under the new retiring scheme; and, if so, whether steps will be taken to mitigate the exceptional severity which the combined effect of the new retirement scheme and the exceptional prolongation of the Lieutenant Colonels' command will have on the prospects of junior Officers in such regiments?


As a general rule, in regiments of Cavalry and Infantry, officers should hold commands for five years only; but, in the concluding sentence of the Royal Warrant, provision was made for the extension of the term in the case of lieutenant colonels in command, in the event of their being called on, or engaged in, active service in the field, or under other special circumstances. The practical effect on the junior officers might possibly be prejudicial in bringing them under the operation of the compulsory clause of the Warrant; and it is a matter worthy of consideration whether in such cases the retirement of the officers should be dated from the five years' tenure; or, in other words, that the appointments in succession to them should be ante-dated to that extent. I think that such an arrangement might answer financially and otherwise.