§ 15. Lieut.-Colonel LANE-FOX
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware of the grave injustice done to secretaries of County Territorial Army Associations by the decision of the Army Council that the service given by them during the War cannot be counted as military service or rank for a pension; that as a result of this decision many of these men who have held commissioned rank up to that of lieutenant-colonel are only receiving pensions now of less than £1 per week; what is the sum required to meet this claim; and whether, in view of the hardship involved and the comparatively small cost of redress, the matter can be reconsidered?
§ Mr. WALSH
I am not aware that the secretaries of County Associations are suffering from injustice in this matter, which I would point out has been decided against them by an arbitrator, Lord Desart, appointed with the consent of the secretaries themselves. In these circumstances, I cannot consent to reopen the case. The cost of admitting the claim would depend on the volume of consequential claims to which it would give rise. I cannot give an estimate of these, but they would be considerable.
§ Lieut.-Colonel LANE-FOX
Was not the point at issue whether the service of these officers should be counted as civil 1049 or military service; and is it not included in the Army List under the heading "War service of officers of the Army"?
§ Mr. WALSH
All these matters were most carefully gone into and have been under consideration for a very long time. I have, myself, gone very carefully into the merits of the principle upon which the claim is based. I am in full agreement with the decision of the arbitrator, and as the arbitrator has reached that decision I cannot consent to reopen it.