HC Deb 11 March 1881 vol 259 cc806-7

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether he can explain to the House what are the respective positions of Major General Newdigate and Sir Evelyn Wood, according to the terms of the "London Gazette" of the 4th and 8th instant, by which it would appear that Sir Evelyn Wood became a local major general on the 28th of February last, whilst Major General Newdigate, although a major general, is only to be appointed a local brigadier general on the 30th instant; whether, under such circumstances, Major General Newdigate is only to receive the pay and allowances of a brigadier general, whilst Sir Evelyn Wood, his supposed junior in rank, receives the allowances of a major general; and, further, what is the reason that the gallant officers, including Sir F. Roberts, recently appointed to commands in South Africa, and now on their way to the Cape, are only to receive pay and allowances from the 30th March?


Sir, I am much obliged to the noble Lord for calling my attention to the language of The Gazette with reference to these appointments, which, I fear, has only the conservative merit of being in accordance with precedent. In point of fact, General Newidgate is a Major General of 1877, and Sir Evelyn Wood is a Colonel of 1874, with Major General's local rank in Natal and the Transvaal of 1881. It is assumed that they will both be in command of brigades under Sir Frederick Roberts, and that is the meaning of The Gazette notice about Major General Newdigate. As to pay, the case is the reverse of what the noble Lord supposes. General Newdigate, as a Major General, would receive the pay and allowances of that rank, while Sir Evelyn Wood would only be entitled to those of a Brigadier. I have, however, under the circumstances of the case, thought myself justified in authorizing Sir Evelyn Wood to receive the pay and allowances of a Major General. I find also that it has been customary to date commands such as the present from the probable date of arrival of the officers in their commands; but they receive pay and allowances from the date of embarkation. I will consider whether Gazette notices might not be in future a little more consistent with the real facts; but I need not say that they are not submitted to me personally.