HC Deb 14 July 1903 vol 125 cc574-5

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that every officer on retired pay from the British Army has to make a declaration, before receiving his allowance, that during the previous quarter he has not held any place of employment or profit, civil or military, in the British colonies or possessions beyond the seas; and whether, seeing that officers who have been retired from the British Army and given their services to a colony enjoying responsible Government thereby do not in any way injure or impair the efficiency of the British Army or involve any charge upon the taxpayer, and that retired officers are allowed to become company directors, and that in two cases the colonies have been deprived of the services of matured Army officers, who would have been punished by being deprived of their half pay or pensions if they had taken service under the Australian Government, he will state the date of the Order referred to, and whether it was based on the Report of a Commission; and whether he can see his way to abolish the Order.


The answer to the first sentence of the Question is "Yes." As regards the second the regulation is based on the military ground that the colonies would, as a ride, obtain better military service from officers on the active list, and that retired pay should not be drawn concurrently with full pay. The rule dates from the 16th September, 1887; it was not based on the Report of a Commission. Officers on retired pay are bound to serve again up to the age of fifty if retired as lieutenant or captain; fifty-five if retired in other ranks below that of general officer, and sixty-seven if retired as general officer, if called upon, and it would seem inequitable that retired officers employed by a colony should be treated more favourably than those employed under the Imperial Government.