HC Deb 05 May 1892 vol 4 cc151-2
MR. COBB (Warwick, S.E., Rugby)

I beg to ask the Financial Secretary, War Department, if he will explain why, when Colonel Rippon recently vacated the post of chief paymaster at Alder shot, Lieutenant Colonel Whittington was appointed to it over the heads of twelve officers senior to himself in addition to nine others who had already been passed over for promotion, in view of the fact that, in January, 1888, the Accountant General transmitted to the Treasury a Report upon the accounts of the 5th Lancers, from which it appeared that the fraudulent deficiencies which had been discovered in them were partly attributable to the fact that Colonel (then Captain) Whittington, as paymaster of the regiment, exercised no control over the books or accounts, and that Sir Reginald Welby, in a letter of the 11th February, 1888, to the Financial Secretary of the War Office, stated that the frauds resulted from a combination of ignorance and indolence on the part of successive paymasters, including Colonel (then Major) Whittington, and added that the Lords of the Treasury thought Major Whittington deserving of grave censure, and regretted that the Secretary of State should not feel able to make him pecuniarily liable for any part of the loss?


Colonel Whittington was appointed to the Pay Department in 1878, and, owing to pressure arising from active, operations at the time, was at once placed in charge of the accounts of a regiment, which were in confusion, with scanty experience and insufficient help. The censure passed on him by the Treasury ten years later had reference to his trusting too much, in 1878, to a fraudulent clerk. During the 14 years which have elapsed' since then Colonel Whittington has shown himself to be a first-rate paymaster; he was specially recommended for promotion for his services in Egypt; was specially appointed to superintend the introduction of the new pay system at Aldershot, the largest pay charge in the Army; and his promotion was due to his capacity for special work, for which he was strongly recommended by the military authorities under whom he had served.