HC Deb 27 July 1916 vol 84 cc1887-8W

asked the Secretary of State for India whether he is aware that some of the families of officers taken prisoners at Kut-el-Amara are in financial straits because those officers have had their Indian pay stopped and are only receiving home pay since they were taken prisoners; and whether he will consider the question of continuing the pay at the Indian rate?


Before the fall of Kut the rules in force regarding the pay of officers taken prisoners while on the Indian Establishment were that—

  1. (1) Officers of British regiments should draw their full Indian pay for sixty-one days and then come under the same conditions as those applied by the War Office to all other British officers taken prisoners, namely, that they should get full British pay and allowances (with the exception in a few cases of such items as command pay and adjutants extra duty pay).
  2. (2) Officers of the Indian Army should draw full pay for sixty-one days and then the rates of Indian Army leave pay ordinarily given on leave out of India. These rates are sterling rates depending on length of service and may be said to approximate, roughly, to about half of the officer's full pay. There was a proviso that in any case an Indian Army officer should not get less than a British service officer, and this became operative in the cases of most junior officers.
Since the fall of Kut the Secretary of State, in communication with the War Office and the Government of India, has reconsidered these rules, which pending any fresh decision applied to the prisoners taken there. It has now been decided that Indian Army officer prisoners after sixty-one days on full pay will receive full pay of rank, plus half the staff pay attaching to their ordinary employment. Speaking very roughly, this will on an average give them about five-sixths of their full ordinary emoluments. Staff officers still on the cadre of a regiment will after sixty-one days be treated as regimental officers This follows the War Office practice. It is not proposed to make any alteration as regards officers of British regiments who only lose to the extent of coming on to British rates of pay and allowances, which (unlike officers of the Indian Army) they are liable to do at any time. The decision to alter the rules for Indian Army officers has retrospective effect from the beginning of the War and applies to all prisoners and not only to those taken at Kut. Family allotments will be adjusted in accordance with the pay of the officers.


asked whether effective steps have been taken to remedy the admitted deficiencies in rations and medical necessities for troops in Mesopotamia, or whether a Report of the proposed Commission is to be awaited?


For several months past all demands received from India for supplies have been complied with, and large quantities have been and are now being dispatched from the reserves in the Mediterranean. As regards deficiencies in medical stores for the troops in Mesopotamia, all demands received have, as has already been stated, been complied with. My right hon. Friend will be aware that the War Office has now taken over the supply of medical stores, and I can inform him that the military authorities in Mesopotamia have been directed to submit any further demands for these stores direct to the War Office, where they will be promptly met.