§ CAPTAIN SINCLAIR (Forfarshire)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he can announce the date on which the Fife and Forfar Yeomanry, who recently returned from South Africa, will receive the pay due to them and their formal discharges; and whether he can state what length of furlough will be given to the men who have served for over a year in South Africa; and whether he will consider the advisability of paying the men up to the day when they are actually discharged and able to resume civil employment.
The men of this company were discharged seven days after arrival, having been granted the usual seven days furlough after disembarkation. They have been paid in accordance with general instructions an interim payment of four-fifths of the sum apparently due to them. They will receive all pay due to them as soon as ever the pay sheets are rendered.
§ MR. BROMLEY-DAVENPORT (Cheshire, Macclesfield)
As the Financial Secretary to the War Office appears to throw responsibility for the payment or non-payment of the Imperial Yeomen on the officers commanding companies, may I ask him whether it is not almost impossible for officers to pay finally their men in this country until the pay sheets which are necessarily with the unit in South Africa, have been passed by the paymaster there?† See preceding Volume, page 1408.
My hon. friend is perfectly correct. The Yeomanry who have come back are time-expired men, and the unit to which they belong is still out in South Africa. The pay sheets, therefore, contain the names not only of the men still out there, but of all the men who have come home, and until the pay sheets are properly checked in South Africa and sent back it is impossible for the officers commanding companies properly to render the pay sheets. We are expediting matters in every way possible, and meanwhile we a re trying to alleviate matters by giving the men four-fifths of what is held to be due to them.