§ CAPTAIN NORTON (Newington, W.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether it has been brought to his notice that a certain number of Crimean and Indian Mutiny veterans serving as messengers in the War Office were recently retired at sixty instead of sixty-five years of age, the Treasury age limit, limit still applicable to messengers in their Government offices; and whether, 1030 seeing that these men are now reduced to their Army pension of a few pence a day, he will consider the advisability of granting them some small increase of pension to keep them from penury in their declining years.
The case of these men has been explained to the House on a previous occasion. In the War Office it is essential that the messengers should be active and able-bodied. It was accordingly found necessary to fix the age for retirement of temporary messengers at sixty. All such men who have fifteen years service as such receive a gratuity on discharge in addition to the Army pension of which they may be in receipt. I am afraid that it is not possible to do anything more for them as suggested.