§ MR. KIMBER (Wandsworth)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether his attention has been drawn to the case of the 51 officers who entered the Indian Army in the transition period 1859–61, called Officers of the General List, who entered the Local Service 603 under the option given them by a Government Order in 1861, and who by official declaration down to 1865 were placed on the same footings as the other officers in the Local Service, who have nevertheless been deprived of the privilege of entering the Staff Corps from the Local Service, although other Local Service Officers retained that privilege, are not allowed to take their Majorities and Colonelcies until they have had 20 and 26 years' service respectively, and in 1882, by fresh pension rules, were differentiated from other Local Service Officers, deprived of the right of Colonel's allowances after 12 years' service as Lieutenant Colonel (which right was assured to them by the Royal Warrant of June, 1864), and granted inferior pensions to those of their brother officers in the Local Service; whether any explanation has been given for the distinction drawn between the two bodies of officers who had elected for Local Service, although other officers who went at the same time from the General List to the other two branches of service, viz., Staff Corps and General Service, have been treated exactly on the same terms as their brother officers in those respective services; whether this question has been repeatedly brought before the Secretary of State; what is the present position of the question; and is it probable that any satisfaction will be given at an early date to the grievances of these 51 officers?
MR. GEORGE RUSSELL
The case of the officers of the General List has been considered by successive Secretaries of State, who have never admitted that these officers, who were appointed after the Government of India had been taken over by the Crown, had the same rights as officers of the Local Service appointed prior to that date. The question was discussed in the House of Commons on the 8th June, 1888, and since then has been considered by Lord Kimberley and by the present Secretary of State, who saw no ground for disturbing the previous decisions. The Secretary of State is not prepared to re-open the case.