HC Deb 12 April 1883 vol 278 cc68-9

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether it is true, as asserted in the "Army and Navy Gazette" of the 17th March, on the authority of an official statement, regarding the treatment of the Army Pay Department in Egypt, that various Departmental officers who were never under fire had displayed qualities which were rewarded by decorations and promotions; and, whether he could explain why none of the officers of the Army Pay Department who had been recommended by the head of their Department in that Country for their services under similar circumstances, had not been decorated or promoted?


Sir, my attention has been drawn to the article in The Army and Navy Gazette to which the hon. Member for Liverpool (Mr. Whitley) refers, and I find various inaccuracies in it. The grant of decorations for service in time of war is generally limited either to those who have been actively engaged under fire, or who have performed duties of special responsibility during the campaign. Of the officers of the Commissariat and Store Departments who received decorations, the whole number, with one exception in each Department, served at the front and accompanied the advance to Tel-el-Kebir. Of the two excepted, the Commissariat officer was in chief charge at Ismailia, and the Store officer was in chief charge at Alexandria, where their duties were exceptionally heavy and responsible. The paymasters were all, or almost all, at the base of operations at Ismailia, and their duties were not of a specially responsible character, excepting those of the Chief Paymaster, Colonel Oliver, who received both a decoration and a C.B.