HC Deb 15 October 1908 vol 194 cc459-60
SIR H. COTTON (Nottingham, E.)

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for India whether an additional charge of £300,000 has lately been imposed on the Indian revenues for the recruitment and training of British soldiers for service in India; and, if so, whether he can furnish any explanation of the circumstances under which this increase is being levied.


It has been agreed that the payment by the India Office to the War Office for the recruitment and training of British soldiers for service in India shall be increased by £300,000 a year from 1st May, 1908. The revision of the scale of payment that had been in force from 1890 was undertaken in accordance with the recommendation contained in Paragraphs 270 and 289 of the Report of Lord Welby's Commission on Indian Expenditure. The decision which has been arrived at is the result partly of the Report of an Inter-Departmental Committee which sat under the presidency of Sir Robert Romer, and partly of a discussion between the Secretary of State for India and the Secretary of State for War. The chief grounds for increasing the payment beyond the rate which was agreed to in 1890 are that the training period on which the charge has hitherto been calculated was inadequate, and that there has been an increase (involving additional outlay by the War Office) in the emoluments of young soldiers and in the number of drafts and reliefs annually sent to India.


Can the hon. Gentleman state what was the capitation grant before this increase was effected and what it is now?


I cannot, offhand.


Is this the case in which the Secretary of State assured the House that in any negotiations with the War Office that authority would find him a dragon in the path?


I cannot accept responsibility for that quotation.

MR. HAROLD COX (Preston)

Did the Government of India assent to this charge?


There were two representatives of India upon the Committee, and the assent of the Government of India has, I think, been received.

DR. RUTHERFORD (Middlesex, Brentford)

Is it proposed to lay on the Table the Report of the Committee on Army Charges?


was understood to reply in the negative.


May I also ask—


I think any further Question had better be put on the Paper.