HC Deb 17 March 1903 vol 119 cc995-6
MR. PIRIE (Aberdeen, N.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War if he can explain in detail the increase in thirty-six half-pay lieutenant-colonels and colonels in 1903–4 compared to 1902–3; how many of the total of ninety-two of these officers have served in South Africa; how many have served their period in command of their regiment; and how many have been placed compulsorily on that list.


The difference between 1903–4 and 1902–3 is twenty-six, not thirty-six as stated, and the increase is due mainly to officers going upon half-pay on vacating staff appointments held during the war. The number ninety-two is based upon the number of half-pay lieutenant-colonels and colonels on 30th November 1902, and is an estimated number. Of the number of lieutenant-colonels and colonels now on half-pay, sixty served in South Africa; thirty-four served their period in command of a battalion or regiment; and eleven have been compulsorily placed on the list.


I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War if he will state what exceptions have been made to the regulation that officers before being given staff appointments should be medically examined as to fitness for service; and whether all officers have been required to return to regimental duty after five years service on the staff; and, if not, will he state the reasons for these exceptions.


In reply to the first part of the question there is no such regulation. The reply to the second part of the Question is in the affirmative, except under the abnormal conditions of war.