HC Deb 10 February 1881 vol 258 c493

asked the Secretary of State for War, If he will state to the House which of the responsible Advisers of the Crown is responsible to Parliament for the efficiency and the discipline of the European portion of the British Army in India?


Sir, in reply to my hon. and gallant Friend, I have to state that it is difficult to describe accurately or exhaustively within the limits of a Reply to a Question the exact degree of responsibility which rests on the Secretaries of State for War and India, respectively, for the efficiency and discipline of the European troops serving in India. Practically, however, there is no difficulty in the matter. The Field Marshal Commanding-in-Chief, under the authority of the Secretary of State for War, is responsible for their regimental organization, and the Secretary of State for India takes them over on the implied understanding that such organization will be preserved. The Secretary of State for War is also responsible for their efficiency so far as it depends on a proper supply of drafts; and any offences against discipline on the part of a British regimental officer would be finally dealt with by him after the Commander-in-Chief in India and the Field Marshal Commanding-in-Chief here. But the Secretary of State for India is responsible for the efficiency of the British Force there so far as it depends on pay, equipment, barrack accommodation, and supply services generally.