HC Deb 18 July 1881 vol 263 c1116

asked the Secretary of State for War, If he can explain why the pay and effects of Robert Maclean, private 72nd Foot, who died at Cabul 6th December 1879, have not been paid to the father of the deceased, notwithstanding several applications, and that the War Office instructions are very plain on the point of delay in such cases?


Sir, in reply to my hon. Friend, I do not think that the delay in this case has been so great as might appear. Private Maclean died in Afghanistan, and his regiment did not return to India till the end of 1880. It is not possible, with due regard to the interests of the man's representatives, to dispose of a soldier's effects until they can be bought at a fair price; and this cannot often be got on active service, or until the return of the regiment. The account in this case is expected daily, and the proceeds will be duly dealt with; but I cannot say that there has been no delay, and I have called for explanations. If it is not satisfactory, the responsible officer will be censured. I may repeat what I have said before in the House, that the instructions on this subject are quite precise, and that I intend to take serious notice of every case of non-compliance.