20. Viscountess Davidson
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that, by present procedure, officers, when transferred voluntarily or otherwise, are, as a result of such transfer, liable to be not only reduced in rank, but to lose also pay and allowances appertaining to the higher rank formerly held; and whether he will assure the House that, in the selection and consequent demotion, due regard and consideration is given to officers' previous services at home and overseas, and that the records dealing with such services are up to date?
§ Captain Margesson
I assume that my hon. Friend is referring to the relinquishment of acting or temporary rank on transfer to another appointment. Under the rules for promotion in war-time, all promotions to fill vacancies in the war establishment are acting or temporary, 15 but an officer holding temporary rank is given war substantive promotion to the next lower rank. With a few exceptions, the retention of acting or temporary rank depends on whether an officer continues to perform the duties of the post for which the rank has been granted. If an officer is transferred, the posting is naturally made in the substantive or war substantive rank held by him, and an officer would therefore relinquish his acting or temporary rank from the date on which he left his original post. This system has the advantage not only of giving every officer an equal chance to prove his merit but also of achieving a high degree of elasticity in the selection of officers for higher posts. As regards the second part of the Question, due regard is always paid to officers' previous service at home and overseas, and all possible steps are taken to keep the records of their service up to date.