§ COLONEL WELBY (Taunton)
I beg to ask the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether he is aware that non-commissioned officers, discharged for a disability before completing 21 years, are not entitled to a pension, only may be granted one, and that the pensions so granted have constantly been small and temporary; that those non-commissioned officers, if they had committed an offence, been tried by court-martial, and reduced to the ranks, would have been entitled to a Class IV. pension for life, and that instances of this contrast have recently occurred; and whether he can see his way to granting to those non-commissioned officers who have not misbehaved permanent pensions at least equal to the pensions of those who have been tried by court-martial?
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE WAR OFFICE (Mr. J. POWELL WILLIAMS,) Birmingham, S.
Where disability is caused in and by the Service the Chelsea Commissioners can grant a permanent pension after 14 years' service; where it arises in, but not by the Service, the qualification for a permanent pension is 18 years' service. With less service, the Commissioners can only award temporary pensions; but if the disability continue these temporary pensions can be converted into life pensions. A non-commissioned officer reduced to the ranks can only be pensioned as a private under Class V. The grant of permanent pensions to non-commissioned officers so reduced and discharged has been abolished for men enlisted since 1892.