HC Deb 09 November 1920 vol 134 cc978-9
9. Captain ELLIOT

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that several regular Army medical service officers with distinguished War records have recently been placed on half-pay against their desires; that junior ranks are meanwhile forbidden to resign their commissions on account of the shortage of medical officers; that one officer who was promoted colonel for service in the field, and subsequently received the D.S.O., the C.M.G., the C.B., and the French Croix de Guerre, with two palms and star, has been placed on half pay six years before the age limit for his rank; and whether he will institute an inquiry into these cases?

Sir A. WILLIAMSON (Parliamentary Secretary to the War Office)

The procedure on reduction of establishment, as laid down in Article 308 of the Royal Warrant for Pay, etc., has been followed in these cases. I would explain that the number of colonels in the Army medical service is largely in excess of the establishment, whereas among the junior ranks there has been a shortage owing to the large number of temporary officers demobilised and to the demand for medical officers for service overseas. Until recently it was therefore impossible to permit the retirement of such officers, but this is now no longer the case.