HC Deb 04 December 1890 vol 349 cc534-5

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War, in view of the Royal Warrant which comes into force on the 1st January, 1891, whether a Senior Colonel, who fulfils the conditions of Clause 136 of the Royal Warrant of 1878, wherein it is stated That a Lieutenant Colonel appointed as such before 1st November, 1871, if he shall have attained the rank of Colonel, shall retain his right to succeed in his turn to the Establishment of General Officers, is now assured of his promotion; and if, in justice to the Purchase Officers of the Army, he will take into consideration the recommendation of Lord Penzance's. Royal Commission in 1876, that the Establishment of General Officers shall remain at 275, as fixed by the Royal Warrant of 27th December, 1870; and also these words in their Report— We do not think that we should be justified in recommending the application of compulsory retirement to the rank of Colonel?


There are not more than four of the present Colonels, who were Lieutenant Colonels before the 1st of November, 1871; and, as they only held that rank in virtue of commanding companies in the Foot Guards, they were not qualifying for the rank of Colonel. As regards the number of General Officers, I may point out that the vacancies which have given promotion to Colonels since 1871 have, as a result of compulsory retirement for General Officers, been much more numerous than they would have been if the Establishment then subsisting had been retained without any such retirement. The result has been a considerable increase of charge.