HC Deb 03 August 1882 vol 273 cc591-2

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether there are now serving any Paymasters in some of the most responsible positions of the Army Pay Department, who have never received either the regulation or over regulation value of their former combatant Captains' commissions, while other Paymasters serving did, previously to or at the time of their appointment, receive the regulation and over regulation value of their former Captains' commissions; whether the former, in comparison with the latter, have discharged Paymasters' duties at a far less cost to the public and income to themselves; and, if they have received an equivalent; whether those officers, notwithstanding their service, have been largely superseded by officers fourteen years their juniors, who will be presently retired with the rank of Colonel and £450 a year, while the former will get only £400 a year and the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel; whether, within the last twelve months, a paymaster having no money invested in former commissions was allowed voluntarily to retire on the same rank and pay as older officers were compelled to accept on compulsory retirement after twenty-four years' service; and, whether, in consideration of the comparative loss of income to those officers and the saving effected by the public during their service, it is intended to give those officers any equivalent, or to repay them on their retirement the price their commissions would have realised when they became paymasters?


Sir, in reply to the hon. Member's first Question, I have to state that paymasters who were formerly combatant officers had either sold out or had joined direct from half or full pay. Those who sold out received their sale money from other officers if they sold out before the 1st of November, 1871; from the public, if they sold out subsequently. The answer to the second Question is that this may be the case. An officer who sold out can only count his pay service towards retirement, whereas the officer who joins without selling counts all his service. The answer to the third Question is, Yes. The retired pay of £450 is limited to the rank of chief paymaster. Certain staff paymasters were superseded by their juniors, either because they had passed the limit of age for promotion, or because they were not selected for the higher rank. The answer to the fourth Question is, Yes; and to the fifth, No. The general answer to all these Questions is that perfect faith has been kept with all these officers.