§ GENERAL SIR WILLIAM CROSSMAN (Portsmouth)
asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether he will take into consideration the claims for com- 705 pensation, in some way or other, of those senior Majors in the Army, very few of whom remain, who attained the rank of Captain before the abolition of purchase, and who, owing to the issue of the Royal Warrant of 1st January, 1887, have lost the chance of early promotion, and many of whom will probably have to retire on account of age before attaining the rank of substantive Lieutenant Colonel; and, whether it is the fact that those few officers who consequently do not attain the rank of Lieutenant Colonel will lose at least £50 per year pension?
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY, WAR DEPARTMENT (Mr. BRODRICK) (Surrey, Guildford)
(who replied) said: A certain number of Majors will have their chances of promotion impaired by the reduction in regimental establishments; but I cannot admit any claim to compensation arising on such grounds. The original Warrant of 1877, which brought in compulsory retirement, made a liberal provision for compensating what were then looked upon, perhaps justly, as the vested rights of purchase officers; but in the preamble of that Warrant, and of every subsequent Warrant on Promotion and Retirement, it was clearly stipulated that no future claim should arise for compensation in regard to any promotion or pension which might be affected by any Warrant or change of regulation issued thereafter. This I must adhere to as a general principle; and, as regards this particular case, I may point out that before the changes of establishment made in 1881 there was only one Lieutenant Colonel in a regiment of Cavalry or battalion of Infantry, so that the present senior Major would, but for that change, have been the second Major, with only one officer in the rank next above him.