HC Deb 27 April 1920 vol 128 cc1019-20

asked the Secretary of State for War and Air whether British flying officers en route to Mesopotamia are often stranded for a fortnight in Bombay, with no extra allowance to cover their expenses while there; and whether he will remedy the hardship?


The point has not previously been brought to notice. The officers in question should, on arrival in Mesopotamia, claim from the Command Paymaster there, the travelling allowances due for the period of detention in Bombay. In case there may have been any misunderstanding, special instructions have been sent to the paymaster as to the admissibility of such claims, if received.


asked the Secretary of State for War and Air what are the existing arrangements as to the length of stay of officers and men in India; and what are the arrangements for married officers and men in that country?

This question was only intended to apply to the Air Force, but someone has put in the words "for War."


I think the answer has been framed by the War Office and is intended to apply to the military. If necessary the hon. Member perhaps will repeat his question. The answer I have to give is as follows:—

The length of stay in India of other ranks depends partly on their colour service and partly on the foreign service roster of the unit in which they are serving. This period averages about 5½ years, but does not exceed six years unless the man volunteers to extend his service for a longer period.

The length of stay of an officer is governed by King's Regulations, which were framed to enable him to transfer to the Home Establishment on completion of six years' continuous service in India if he so desires.

In the case of an officer who has been promoted from the ranks, commissioned and non-commissioned service is taken into account in estimating his period of service abroad.

Married officers make their own arrangements for their families in India.

Warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and men, if on the married establishment, are provided with quarters for themselves and their families. The percentage allowed is laid down in paragraph 109 Allowance Regulations.


The difficulty is that the right hon. Gentleman occupies two offices, but surely an hon. Member is entitled to put down, as I did, a question applying simply to the Air Force? Somebody else put in the words for War. Are we not entitled to ask separate questions, and to expect separate answers?


It would have made the question clearer if the hon. Member had, in the body of his question, indicated his intention that it should apply only to officers and men of the Air Force. Had he put in the words to that effect it would have made it clear.