HC Deb 28 July 1898 vol 63 c290
SIR SEYMOUR KING (Hull, Central)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether 500 native soldiers have returned from the campaign on the North-West Frontier of India maimed for life by the loss either of an arm or a leg; whether, under Army Regulations, Vol. I., Part II., the pension to which these maimed soldiers are entitled is five rupees or 6s. 8d. per month, on which they are expected to maintain themselves and families; whether he is aware that great discontent has been caused among the men themselves, and among the Sikhs generally, by the fact that those who come under the first class for simple wounds receive four rupees a month, while those who are incapacitated in the manner indicated from further service, and in most cases from any work, receive only five rupees; and whether he will consider the advisability of revising the regulations in the direction of more generous treatment of men who have been incapacitated in the service of the Queen-Empress?


I am unable to give the number of native soldiers who have lost a limb in the recent operations. The pensions of private soldiers in such circumstances would vary, according to length of service, between five and 10 rupees a month; a corporal might receive as much as 14½ rupees. I am not aware that any discontent on the subject of wound pensions exists in the native army, but if it is so. I am confident that the Government of India must be conscious of the fact. In the absence of any representation from them, I do not propose to suggest any alteration in these pensions, which must, of course, be judged with reference to the general rate of wages and cost of living in India.