§ GENERAL LAURIE (Pembroke and Haverfordwest)
I beg to ask the 434 Under Secretary of State for War whether officers and soldiers who have lost personal effects recognised as field service equipment by the capture of a convoy by the enemy will receive compensation at the public expense; and whether an inquiry is held in each case when a convoy is captured, and, if neglect of duty by want of proper precautions be ascertained, whether the officer in charge is called upon to make good any part of such losses or is otherwise held to account.
MR. J. POWELL-WILLIAMS (for Mr. WYNDHAM)
Officers and soldiers who have lost personal effects which are recognised as field service equipment will receive compensation. The question whether operations in the field have been properly conducted is decided in the first instance by the Commander-in-Chief in the theatre of war. The Secretary of State for War has power under the pay warrant to call upon an officer to make good small losses for which he has been held responsible, but it has never been contemplated that any officer even if blameable would be called upon to make good the loss of a convoy.