HC Deb 22 March 1905 vol 143 cc786-7

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he has noticed the statements of the Comptroller - General in his Report, recently laid upon the Table of the House, that the deficiency on the final pay list of the Rhodesian Regiment was £7,096 19s. 6d., and will he say † See page 636. whether this regiment formed part of the forces raised by the British South Africa Company; that the deficiency on the accounts of a Cape Colony Volunteer corps employed during the war was £1,475 12s., and the deficiency on the accounts of the South Africa Mounted Irregular Corps depots £3,050 6s. 9d.; and, if so, whether he can explain how these sums came to be paid by the War Office, and if any steps have been, or are being, taken for their repayment; whether his attention has been called to the statement that the expenditure by the British South Africa Company in respect of stores and for the equipment of the Rhodesian Field Force imperfectly vouched was £36,575; and, if so, will he say what was the amount imperfectly vouched; why it was paid without vouchers; what is the total amount paid to the South Africa Company in regard to war expenditure; and how much of this was not vouched for, or full details submitted to the War Office.


The three corps first mentioned in the Question were raised or called out for Imperial purposes and were paid from Army funds. Any deficiencies in their accounts which were attributed to war exigencies were therefore borne by Army funds. Every effort has been made to recover the monies due, which were, generally speaking, overpayments to men. The Rhodesian Regiment did not form part of the forces raised by the British South Africa Company. The greater part of the deficiency in this case arose through the loss of the pay lists of one of the squadrons covering a period of six months. In the case of Marshall's Horse, the Cape Volunteer corps mentioned, the officer acting as paymaster was dismissed the service for neglect of duty. As regards the last part of the Question affecting the British South Africa Company, all payments to the company were duly vouched. The documents missing were such as were required to trace the disposal of the stores after they were received. The total expenditure was £1,681,818. Store vouchers were lacking to account for the subsequent disposal of stores to the value of £76,444.