§ 9. Mr. WILKIE
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that an order was received at the headquarters of the l/4th Royal Scots Fusiliers to the effect that, as from the 20th of October last, sergeant-majors, quartermaster-sergeants, sergeants, corporals, and lance-corporals were to be reduced to privates, that on the 20th of November the sergeant-majors and quartermaster-sergeants who were reduced to privates were then promoted sergeants, the sergeants who were reduced to privates were promoted to corporals, and the corporals who were reduced to privates were promoted to lance-corporals; whether he is aware that the order was only intimated to the men on the 28th of December, that three of the sergeants and about seven or eight of the lance-corporals are men belonging to a draft at present in Kilmarnock and awaiting orders to proceed to the front, that since the 20th of October these men were drawing the pay of and doing the work of the ranks they were supposed to hold, that in consequence these men, some of whom are married, find themselves in the position of having overdrawn their pay and having got into debt as the result of an order not communicated to them until it was two months old; and whether he will make inquiries into the matter and ascertain the reason for such an order being made and the cause for it not being communicated at the proper time?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY Of STATE for WAR (Mr. Tennant)
I am making inquiry into this mater, as my hon. Friend desires.