HC Deb 24 July 1916 vol 84 cc1303-4

asked the Secretary of State for India, with reference to the Dispatch No. 3, dated 31st May, 1905, to the Governor-General of India in Council, paragraph 19, whether the Department of Military Supply, created under the superintendence of a military member of the Governor-General's Council in pursuance of that dispatch, to undertake responsibility to the Government of India for the control of Army contracts, the purchase of stores, ordnance, and remounts, the management of military works, the clothing and manufacturing departments, Indian Medical Service and Indian Marine, exists any longer; if not, when that arrangement was abolished or altered; and whether, during the present War, the control of these branches of administration has been vested in the Governor-General in Council, or in the Commander-in-Chief as a member of Council, or as head of the Army in India, and in what relation to the position and responsibility of the Governor-General in Council of supreme control of the Army under Act of Parliament?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. The Department of Military Supply was abolished on the 1st April, 1909. The business hitherto dealt with by it was transferred to the Army Department and continued to be controlled by the Governor-General in Council, the member in charge being henceforth the Commander-in-Chief instead of the Military Supply member. The Commander-in-Chief is the executive head of the various branches of supply, as he is of the Army generally, but is subject to the supreme control of the Government of India, of which he is a member.


May I ask if it is a fact that since 1909 there has only been one military member, the Commander-in-Chief, instead of two, of the Council of the Governor-General of India?


Yes, Sir.

Colonel YATE

Is there any general administration in India corresponding to a similar office held in the Army at home?


I do not know what my hon. and gallant Friend means by "general administration." I am not very familiar with military terms, but I am not aware of anybody who serves under that title at home.