§ 14. Sir J. D. REES
asked the Undersecretary of State for India if he will state under what authority deductions are made from the pay of British soldiers serving in British regiments in India, which is provided by the Indian Government and the Indian taxpayer as pay, in order to satisfy the demands of the National Insurance Commissioners; whether British soldiers are given any option in this matter; and whether the results on former occasions of forced deductions from the pay of British soldiers have been duly taken into consideration?
§ Mr. MONTAGU
The authority for the deductions is Section 46 of the National Insurance Act. British soldiers have no option in the matter while serving on their first engagement. Those men, however, who have already or may hereafter reengage with a view to serving on for pension have the option of subscribing or claiming exemption.
§ Sir J. D. REES
Is India an independent financial unit, and, if so, how will it be proper to divert money provided for the payment of wages to other purposes in which the Indian taxpayer has no interest? Will the right hon. Gentleman also answer the last sentence of my question?
§ Mr. MONTAGU
The answer to the first part is that a Statute passed by both Houses of Parliament and receiving the Royal Assent applies to British soldiers serving in India according to the terms of the Statute. With regard to the last part of the question, I did not answer it because I am not aware what deductions the hon. Gentleman refers to. If he will give me that information I will make inquiries.