HC Deb 14 March 1884 vol 285 cc1545-6

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether there are at present six Cavalry Regiments, one West India Regiment, and twenty-nine Line Battalions, in which the pay duties are administered by Acting Paymasters or Committees; if he will state the number of Officers of the Army Pay Department who have retired from the Service, but, in consequence of the small number of probationers for the Department, are still employed by the War Office; whether the duties of Chief Paymaster, in the Woolwich and North British Districts, are entrusted to Officers who have so retired; and, whether the Commissariat Department, on its formation, was granted higher rank and pay on account of the great responsibility involved in the charge of the Treasury Chest; and, if so, why the same privileges are not accorded to Officers of the Army Pay Department, to whom are entrusted now these same duties?


The Army List will show that there are six Cavalry regiments and 29 battalions which have not Paymasters attached to them; to 13 of these, however, Paymasters have been detailed; but the fact of their having joined has not yet been notified in The Army List. The West India Regiments are allowed one Paymaster only. There are seven officers on the Retired List of the Army Pay Department, who are temporarily employed in consequence of the Department being under its establishment. It may be here mentioned that since the beginning of this year 12 officers have applied to become candidates for the Department. The duties of Chief Paymaster in the Woolwich and North British District are being performed by officers on the Retired List temporarily, only until the arrival home of Chief Paymasters from foreign service. The rank given to the Commissariat Department was not granted with reference to Treasury Chest duties only, but mainly on account of the other duties for which that Department is responsible. When the Pay Department was formed in 1878, the highest rank in it was that of Major. Since then the ranks of Lieutenant Colonel and Colonel have been given to the officers in charge of the principal stations, and abroad these are the officers who have custody of the Treasury Chest. At the few stations abroad, where an officer of this rank is not serving, the officer in charge is always granted additional pay for the responsibility of the Chest duties.