§ LORD WAVENEY
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether it is proposed that officers seconded for civil employment in Cyprus should necessarily be returned to their regiments at the termination of the original term of service of five years for which they were appointed?
THE EARL OF KIMBERLEY
My Lords, formerly it was the custom to encourage officers to accept civil employment, for which they were, in the usual course, seconded from their regiments. This was mainly with a view of diminishing the large number of officers who, under the Warrant of 1878, would have been compulsorily retired at 40 years of age. As the House is aware, the proportion of officers of the various ranks was considerably modified last year. The object of this modification was to improve promotion, and obviate, to a great extent, the necessity for compulsory retirements. This having been effected, it is no longer necessary or desirable to encourage officers to leave their regiments and to accept civil employment, unless the duties which such employment involves are of such a nature as to afford practical experience likely to be afterwards of advantage in military service. This is laid down in Articles 46 and 48 of the Royal Warrant of March, 1882. Consequently, officers who are now seconded for civil service in Cyprus will be allowed to complete their term of five years' service, and at the end of that term the Secretary of State has power to extend their service for another five years, if he considers that the duties intrusted to them give them experience which would be of use to them in military service. This rule will be adhered to when applications of extension of civil service are received. None could have been made up to the present time. Though the Secretary of State does not bind himself as to the course which he may adopt in dealing with very special cases, I am bound to say that under the present Regulations it is not probable that he will be able to grant extensions of terms of civil employment to the officers in question.
§ House adjourned at Three o'clock, till To-morrow, half past Two o'clock.