HC Deb 15 July 1913 vol 55 cc1044-5

asked the Secretary of State for War (1) whether, under the promised scheme to enable officers of the Regular Army to live upon their pay, it is proposed in future to give more suitable allowances to regimental bands, so that that part of their maintenance now borne by the officers personally can be transferred to the State; if so, whether he will take into consideration the advisability of making it obligatory for all military bands to give at least twelve public performances in the city or town where they may be quartered free of cost, as is done in foreign countries; (2) whether the statement appearing in the Army Estimates, 1913–14, Appendix 16, page 194, Note, that mounted officers are allowed two soldier servants means what it appears to mean, or whether it should have been drafted so as to mean that mounted officers are allowed two soldier servants on payment of wages; whether a standard wage is paid to all soldier servants in Cavalry regiments by the various officers; if so, will he say what that standard wage is; if not, will he say what wages are paid by officers to soldier servants in the Aldershot Cavalry Brigade and 4th Cavalry Brigade at Colchester, etc.; (3) whether officers in Cavalry regiments have to pay out of their own income for the necessary removal expenses entailed by attending manœuvres at a distance, including the moving of mess, camp furniture, and baggage, or whether such expenses are paid for by the Government; if the former, if he can say what was the expense to each lieutenant attending manœuvres in 1912 in each regiment of the 1st Cavalry Brigade and the 4th Cavalry Brigade, respectively; whether such items were added to the officer's mess bill; (4) whether officers pay anything out of their private incomes for the hire or purchase of mess furniture or whether such expenses are met by the mess allowances paid by Government and appearing as £6 per annum for each officer in Cavalry line regiments in Appendix 16 of the Army Estimates for 1913–14; and (5) what was the amount of the band subscription, the polo subscription, and the hunt subscription, respectively, in 1912, and what it is this year, for lieutenants in each of the regiments comprising the Aldershot 1st Cavalry Brigade and the 4th Cavalry Brigade; whether all lieutenants pay all these subscriptions, whether they play polo or hunt, or if they do not; and whether these sums are added to the officers' monthly mess bills?


These and kindred matters are now the subject of investigation.


Will the House be informed what decisions the authorities arrive at in regard to these questions?


The matter is under investigation by a Committee, but whether their report will be presented to Parliament I do not know. I think it is most probable it will be.