HC Deb 27 February 1906 vol 152 cc1012-3
SIR SEYMOUR KING (Hull, Central)

To ask the Secretary of State for India whether his attention has been called to a recent ruling of the Government of India to the effect that officers of the Indian Staff Corps who entered the Indian Army on or after the 1st July 1881 shall, on vacating employment, be allowed the option of residing in or out of India until compulsory retirement on account of age; while residing in India officers will receive the pay of their rank, and while residing out of India they will be allowed to take any furlough admissible under the 1886 Leave Rules, and receive unemployed pay at the rate of £500 a year; whether, under this ruling officers who joined after 1st July 1881, and, in consequence of having won the distinction of early commands, are obliged by the rules to vacate their commands for a more or less considerable time before-their compulsory retirement, are forced to choose between spending the time in India or accepting £200 per annum loss if they wish to spend it at home; and whether in view of the fact that officers who joined before the 1st July 1881 could elect on the termination of their commands, to reside in or out of India on the furlough to which they were entitled, furlough pay being £600 per annum for officers of from twenty-four to twenty-nine years' service and £700 for those of twenty-nine and onwards, he will explain why this difference is made in the case of the officer who joined in 1881 and after between the pay they receive in India and in England while they are awaiting their compulsory retirement after relinquishing their commands, and say whether the ruling above quoted can be reconsidered.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Morley.) The right of residing in or out of India after vacation of appointment has been extended to the officers who entered the Indian Army after the 1st July 1881. The conditions are, as regards officers under the Leave Rules of 1886, correctly stated in the second clause of the Question. As regards the remainder of the Question, I must explain that the officers appointed to the Indian Army before the 1st July 1881 possessed a prescriptive right to remain in the Service and a certain claim to continous employment; and, when the latter was taken from them in 1881 (on the occasion of the limitation of tenure of regimental command), they necessarily retained the right of residence in India on Indian pay. To these officers, at the time, was given the option of remaining in India on this pay or of completing their service at home on furlough pay, i.e., half Indian pay, or (during the period 1381–86) about £400 a year. In 1886 new Leave Rules came into force, and officers who elected those Rules necessarily became entitled to leave pay under them in place of their furlough pay under the older Rules. The above concession was expressly limited to the officers who entered before the 1st July 1881. The other officers have no right to remain indefinitely in the Service, and they were appointed after the limitation of tenure of command had been introduced, and therefore they have not the same claim to special treatment as those officers whoso conditions of service had been changed for the worse by the limitation. They have not hitherto been allowed the concession of completing their service for higher pensions after becoming unemployed, though the Regulations have contained a rate of unemployed pay applicable to them, viz., £360 a year, wherever residing, and it has no doubt been understood that they would not be compelled to retire before attaining the age for superannuation. My predecessor decided that the rate of £365 a year was insufficient, and fixed the unemployed pay at Indian pay while residing in India, and a special rate of £500 residing out of India for officers of over twenty-four years' service, and subject to the Leave Rules of 1886. I may add that £500 a year is the unemployed pay of a major-general, and that it would be unsuitable that general officers should draw smaller unemployed pay than officers of inferior rank. Officers under the Furlough Rules of 1875 are entitled to half Indian pay only while residing at home, whether they entered the Indian Army before or after 1st July 1881. I see no reason for reconsidering my predecessor's decision.