HC Deb 14 June 1915 vol 72 cc480-1
9. Colonel YATE

asked the Secretary of State for India whether officers serving as second in command of Infantry regiments of the Indian Army on field service out of India are debarred, by reason of attaining the age of fifty, from promotion to commandant; and, if so, whether, under the circumstances now existing, he will authorise a relaxation of the age rules in special cases where they occasion real hardship?

The SECRETARY of STATE for INDIA (Mr. Chamberlain)

It was decided in 1913 that no officer of an Infantry regiment of the Indian Army, who has attained the age of fifty, or of a Cavalry regiment, who has reached the age of forty-eight, could be regarded as eligible for appointment as commandant. As regards Cavalry regiments, sanction was given in May last year, on the proposal of the Government of India, to the relaxation of this rule, where it might involve cases of hardship, provided that such relaxation is recommended by the Commander-in-Chief in India. The responsible authorities have not thought it necessary to propose a similar relaxation in the case of Infantry regiments, in which the age limit is two years higher.

Colonel YATE

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if it is not a case of real hardship that an officer second in command of a regiment now serving at the front should be debarred from holding the command of that or of any other regiment simply because he happens to have attained the age of fifty years?


I said that the responsible authorities in India have not thought it necessary to propose a similar relaxation in the case of Infantry regiments. My hon. and gallant Friend will be as much alive as I am to the general objections which there are to increasing the age limit for officers under present conditions. I do not think that I ought to make any proposal to the responsible authorities on the subject, though, of course, I should consider any proposal which they made to me.