HC Deb 01 June 1908 vol 189 cc1528-9
SIR SEYMOUR KING (Hull, Central)

To ask the Undersecretary of State for India whether the Indian military authorities have considered the effect upon the position of gentlemen rankers in the Indian Army who received their commissions during the South African War of an Army Order recently issued at Home which provides that all Militia service in South Africa during the late war is to count not only for pension but also for promotion; whether a result of this Order will be that a number of officers in the Indian Army commissioned from the Militia will shortly be promoted to captaincies over the heads of gentlemen rankers who are their seniors by date of commission and who were in many cases specially promoted for distinguished services; and whether any steps are contemplated for remedying the incidental effect of this Order.

(Answered by Mr. Buchanan.) The promotion of officers of the Indian Army is not regulated by Army Orders issued at Home, but by rules and orders issued by the Secretary of State for India in Council. Their service for promotion is ordinarily counted from the date of first permanent commission in the Regular Army, but officers who served in the South African War have been specially allowed to count also their active service with a Militia, Yeomanry, or Volunteer commission. Service in the ranks cannot be counted for this purpose, though it counts, under certain conditions, for Indian pension. The question of the grading of officers whose promotion to captain and higher ranks will be accelerated by the counting of service previous to the attainment of a regular commission has been referred to the Government of India.