HC Deb 16 June 1881 vol 262 cc646-7

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether it is a fact that on the 5th July 1872 a Royal Warrant was issued promoting all the first Captains of the Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers to the rank of Major, thereby superseding some 600 Captains of Cavalry and Infantry who were their seniors in the Army; and, whether, on the 20th May 1873, another Royal Warrant was issued promoting about 200 of the superseded Captains to the rank of Major, with effect from the 5th July 1872, thereby reinstating them in their former relative positions with regard to the Majors of Artillery and Engineers; and, if so, as the Warrant of the 20th May 1873 virtually recognised the injustice caused by the Warrant of the 5th July 1872, and partially remedied it, whether it is proposed to complete the remedy commenced in 1873 by promoting all the other superseded Captains to brevet majorities with effect from the 5th July 1872, and to confer on them the brevet rank of Lieutenant-Colonel when the officer of Artillery or Engineers who was next below them on the 4th July 1872 obtains that rank; or, if not, whether any reason can be shown why it is not desirable to do so?


The noble Lord will hardly expect me to answer in detail a Question of an argumentative character, to reply to which, fully, would try the patience of the House. He will permit me, perhaps, only to say that I am quite aware of the supersessions to which he refers; but that I cannot undertake to adopt the retrospective proposal which he makes, which has been frequently considered and refused by my Predecessors.