HC Deb 14 July 1924 vol 176 cc5-6
13. Mr. BATEY

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether any action has been taken on the resolution passed by the Legislative Assembly calling for the unrestricted admission of Indians to the naval, military, and air forces?


Yes, Sir. The whole question of the admission of Indians to the various arms was carefully considered, along with other questions relating to the defence of India, in 1922, by the Committee of Imperial Defence, upon whose, recommendations the existing policy of Indianisation was laid down by His Majesty's Government in 1923.

14. Mr. BATEY

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether, seeing that the War Office objected to the reduction of the military establishment of India by three cavalry regiments, and that as a consequence of such objections only two regiments have been removed despite the recommendations of the Retrenchment Committee, he will state the amount of the annual contribution which the War Office has agreed to make towards the cost of this regiment, and what proportion of the expense this contribution represents?


The decisions on the Retrenchment Committee's recommendations for the reduction of the military establishment of India were not taken by any one Department, but by His Majesty's Government, as the matter affected the disposition of the Imperial forces as a whole. The War Office do not contribute directly towards the cost of the cavalry regiment which it was decided to retain on the Indian establishment. They have agreed to pay £75,000 a year for two years to Indian revenues in consideration of various factors connected with the general scheme of reduction, of which the cost of the regiment in question was only one aspect. The last part of the question, therefore, does not arise.


Is the hon. Gentleman not aware that the military forces in India have been reduced now below the margin of safety?


I am not aware of that.