HC Deb 09 June 1898 vol 58 cc1162-3

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether, in cases where, at the instance of the War Office or any other British authorities, ordnance or any other military stores that may have been superseded or become obsolete in the use of the British army have been transferred or supplied to the Indian armies, the Director General of Stores at the India Office has full discretion as to accepting or taking over such disused or discarded stores; whether the auditor of the accounts of the Secretary of State in Council has full opportunity of testing the valuation at which such disused British stores are taken over for issue to the Indian armies; and whether the auditor at the India Office in his Annual Report to Parliament specifies any irregularities which may arise in connection with the taking over of such stores charged to the Indian Government?


In cases such as are described in the first clause of the honourable Member's Question the Secretary of State for India in Council has a complete discretion as to accepting or refusing disused stores. The Director General of Stores is his officer, and, as a rule, his representative in matters of this kind. The auditor has, to guide him in testing the valuation of such stores, all the papers at the disposal of the India Office; he cannot have access to any other papers except by the permission of the head of the department to which they belong. He invariably draws attention, in his annual Report, to any irregularities in this or in other matters which he may have noticed.