HC Deb 22 May 1924 vol 173 cc2399-400
57. Lieut.-Colonel MEYLER

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the total cost of the compulsory retirement of officers from the Regular Army under the system introduced by the Geddes Commission; and whether any saving has been effected by this action, seeing that many officers holding temporary commissions are still employed on duties which might have been carried out by the regular officers who have been retired?

The SECRETARY of STATE for WAR (Mr. Stephen Walsh)

I have been asked to reply. The amount paid in gratuities to the officers in question was £1,458,850 and the total of the annual rates of retired pay allowed to them is £167,485. It is not possible to calculate how much more these officers would have cost the State if they had not been retired, as such a calculation would necessarily depend on details that are entirely hypothetical, but the reduction in the annual cost of the Army of which these compulsory retirements were unfortunately a necessary part is many times larger than any of these figures. No officer who was compulsorily retired was qualified to carry out the duties on which any of the temporary officers at present retained are engaged.

Lieut.-Colonel MEYLER

Did not the right hon. Gentleman himself only yesterday say that the regular officers are quite capable of carrying out all the duties which the temporary officers are carrying out at the present time?


I am not aware that I said anything of the kind. I said, and I have repeated it several times, that these particular duties are of such a character that the regular officers could not, in my opinion, and I have gone very carefully into the matter, carry them out.

Lieut.-Colonel MEYLER

Would not the regimental officer be capable of carrying out the duties of the Summary Court Officer in Cologne, which are now being carried out by temporary officers without any legal qualifications whatever?

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