HC Deb 19 May 1903 vol 122 cc1090-1
MR. MANSFIELD (Lincolnshire, Spalding)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War if he will state how many companies of Imperial Yeomanry went to South Africa in 1901, and the date when the last company returned; whether the orders that the accounts of each company should be settled before embarkation on their return, and that the chief paymaster for Imperial Yeomanry should report to headquarters at Johannesburg that the accounts had been adjusted were carried out; how many officers commanding companies of the 1901 batch of Imperial Yeomanry have received their gratuities in full to date, and how many remain to be settled with; have the offers of officers commanding companies of their services in adjusting these accounts been accepted; and will he state the position in the Army Pay Department, pay, and pension of the chief paymaster for Imperial Yeomanry, and what his position will be when the work of the Imperial Yeomanry Pay Office is completed; and can he state when this work will be finished.


The 1901 Imperial Yeomanry consisted of 17,243 non-commissioned officers and men who were despatched as drafts and subsequently organised into companies; the last of these companies was demobilised on 15th September, 1902. The orders as regards the accounts were that they should be brought up to date, and under great pressure they were sufficiently brought up to date to enable the men to receive the bulk of what was due to them prior to their being discharged at Aldershot. No less, however, than 14,000 men appealed against their captains' assessment, and in nearly every case their complaint was justified. The blame, therefore, for the delay in final settlement rests entirely with the captains, and the action of the War Office in withholding the officers' gratuities until the accounts were examined has been amply justified. Of the 1,451 officers commissioned for the Imperial Yeomanry, 370 officers in charge of companies have not yet received their gratuities. Officers have offered their services to clear up the accounts and their information has been duly utilised. The officer acting as chief paymaster is a very able and experienced re-employed officer from the retired list; he is drawing the same emoluments as a chief paymaster on the active list, and when his employment ceases will return to the retired list. His pay is £638 15s., and his retired pay, when he reverts to it, is £500 a year. He hopes to complete the 1900 accounts by June and the 1901 and 1902 accounts by the end of the year.