§ Mr. SALTER
asked the Secretary for War whether he is aware that, owing to the fact that not more than one or two troopships sail for India before the 30th September and that these are chiefly used for the return of furlough men, the effect of selecting that day (as provided by paragraph 336 of the King's Regulations) as the date by which a man must have completed six years' service abroad before he can qualify to register on the preceding 1st April for the Home Establishment, is to make it necessary for the great majority of non-commissioned officers and men to show a considerably longer period than six years and in many cases nearly seven years' service abroad before they can qualify to return home; whether he is aware that this state of things has caused and is still causing much discontent among the troops in India; and whether he will consider the propriety of altering paragraph 336 of the Regulations so as to make the 31st March the date for the computation of six years' completed service, or take some other steps to insure that soldiers serving abroad may have the opportunity of returning home within a reasonable time of completing their six years' service?
§ Mr. TENNANT
It is not the case that the first two transports are chiefly used for the return of furlough men, but I am aware that in some cases men, when they return home, have then completed a longer period of service than six years. Transfer to the home establishment is, however a privilege, and under the Rules as they stand, without the alteration suggested, there are already more men registered than can be interchanged, with due regard to the efficiency of units and transport exigencies.