§ 66 and 67. Mr. HORNER
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War (1) why those men who resigned important and responsible positions in civil life and placed their whole time and services at the disposal of the Secretary of State for War to perform the duties of acting paymasters have not been given any rank or status, seeing that the duties of acting paymaster in peace times are performed only by commissioned officers; and (2) if those civilians serving on the strength as acting paymasters are the only body of civilians doing the duty of officers in any branch of the naval or military services who have not been given commissioned rank; and whether he is aware of the dissatisfaction that exists amongst them as regards their treatment, both by the military authorities at many of the places where they are serving and also by the Army Council, whom they have repeatedly memorialised in regard to their status, but who have ignored their representations?
I would refer the hon. Member to the answers which I gave yesterday to the hon. Member for the St. Augustine Division of Kent. I would add that a reply has been sent to all representations on this subject which have reached the War Office, and that, as I have previously stated, the Department is most anxious to place no obstacle in the way of those who might properly apply for combatant commissions.
§ 68. Mr. HORNER
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War if Colonel Carter, Inspector of Army Pay Offices, after a recent inspection, issued a report which has been forwarded by the Army Council to regimental paymasters at the various offices to the effect that acting paymasters are to be responsible for 10,000 accounts and their clerks for 1,000 accounts each, whereas in peace time a paymaster, with 1261 many years' experience, and skilled clerks of the Army Pay Corps have been expected to deal with a maximum of only 6,000 accounts; if Colonel Carter himself, when acting as regimental paymaster, ever dealt with more than 6,000 accounts, although he had the advantage of experienced clerks of the Army Pay Office; and if he is aware of the dissatisfaction that exists at all the pay offices in the United Kingdom, both with reference to Colonel Carter's inspection of the various pay offices and of his report thereon; and, if so, whether he proposes to take any action in the matter?
I think that it would be most undesirable to discuss by way of question and answer in the House an unpublished report made by an inspector to the Army Council, but I would point out to the hon. Member that the system of pay accounts in war is much simpler than in peace.