§ 16. Mr. Quintin Hogg
asked the Secretary of State for India how many years continuous service overseas must be completed by British ranks of the Indian Army before they are given the benefit of the 61 days' leave scheme which is to take the place of the Python scheme for such British ranks.
§ The Secretary of State for India (Mr. Amery)
I assume my hon. Friend is referring to the permanent cadre of the India Unattached List. The rule for them is the same as for British officers of the Indian Army and they must have completed five years' overseas service before they are eligible for home leave. 1607 British ranks of the Indian Army who are not permanent members of the India Unattached List are eligible for home posting under the War Office scheme.
§ Mr. A. Bevan
Is not the Minister aware that letters now being received by Members of this House show a state of mind in which many officers cannot be any longer regarded as necessary for operational duties; and is it not the case that they ought to be given leave as early as possible, if the morale of the Army is to be maintained?
§ Mr. Turton
Is my right hon. Friend aware that married Air Force personnel in India come back after three years, and is it not very unfair that the Regular soldier should have to serve an extra two years in India?
§ Mr. Amery
I think my hon. Friend will understand that the extra period which may be served by a Regular soldier in the British Army in India is a matter for the War Office. What I am dealing 1608 with is the question of those belonging to the Indian Army, which requires men with special experience in handling Indian troops. I am sorry to say that it is not so easy to spare such men as other British troops. We do our best in the matter, but we have to consider operational necessities.