asked the Secretary of State for War whether a new Regulation has suddenly been made for Indian Cavalry regiments, compelling officers to be removed from their regiments without any reference to former services on their attaining a certain age, beyond which all are supposed to be too old for Cavalry service; whether under this Regulation, Colonel Ricketts, of the 15th Bengal Lancers, has been ordered to be removed 568W from his regiment next August, and his pay to be reduced from 700 to 500 rupees a month, and to stand down for two years unemployed; and whether Colonel Ricketts has served nearly all his time with his regiment, doing especially good work on the stud farm on the newly-irrigated lands?
§ Mr. CHARLES ROBERTS
Under a Regulation promulgated in December last, officers of Cavalry units are ineligible for selection for appointment as commandants after attaining the age of forty-eight years; and such officers may, at their option, elect for removal from the cadres of their units at any time between the ages of forty-eight and fifty years, with the benefits admissible under the old rules. Lieutenant-Colonel Ricketts is ineligible under the Regulation for command, but he would not be compulsorily retired from his regiment until October, 1915, when he would be fifty years of age. The rates of pay quoted by the hon. and gallant Member are not understood.
§ Mr. LANE-FOX
asked the Secretary of State for India whether, seeing that the cost of living in India has largely risen and the pay of the Indian Army has been recently increased in consequence, he can represent to the Government of India the desirability of a similar increase in the pay of officers and men in the British Army in India?
§ Mr. C. ROBERTS
The question of improving the pay of British service officers in India is now under consideration with reference to the increases of pay recently sanctioned for British officers under Army Order dated 1st January, 1914. As regards British soldiers in India, a similar question does not arise, since British soldiers serving in the United Kingdom do not fall within the scope of the Order in question. I would add that as British soldiers in India receive free rations they are not seriously affected by any rise that may have taken place in the cost of living in that country.