HC Deb 21 April 1920 vol 128 cc412-4W

asked the Secretary of State for India (1) whether general officers of the Indian Army, when on leave in this country and drawing furlough pay, receive less pay than colonels lieutenant-colonels, and majors of the British Army on home service; and whether the furlough rates of pay of general officers of the Indian Army will be increased to at least an equality with those of officers of corresponding ranks of the British Army when on leave, with an addition to help to defray the extra cost of passages to and from India;

(2) whether British officers of the Indian Army while on long leave in India draw full Indian Army pay of rank and half staff pay of their appointments, yet the same officers when on furlough pay in this country only draw at present rates of exchange approximately one-quarter to one third of their pay and staff pay, and less than one-half at the sterling rate of 10 rupees to the sovereign recently decided upon; and what steps he proposes to take so that British officers of the Indian Army when on leave out of India shall not suffer thus financially, especially taking into account the high cost of living at home and the greatly increased cost of passages to and from India for themselves and their families, the cost of which has to be defrayed by officers at their own expense;

(3) whether the rates for furlough pay to British officers of the Indian Army when on leave out of India remain unchanged, although new rates of pay for service men in India were issued last October; and whether, seeing that, in view of the present high cost of living at home, this presses hardly upon such officers on leave in this country, who in many cases draw the same rates of furlough as were issued in the year 1886, and who do not benefit in the slightest degree by the rise in value of the rupee, he will say if he expects shortly to be in a position to issue improved rates of furlough pay?


The sterling rates of Indian Army leave pay were revised on 1st January, 1919, and Army of Occupation bonus is issued together with these rates. It is therefore not the case that the amounts payable to any Indian Army officer remains at a rate fixed in 1886. Proposals for further revision of the rates of leave pay have been under consideration and will, I hope, shortly be approved. The question of certain passage concessions for officers on leave is one of the points under consideration. As regards general officers of the Indian Army, I think that my hon. and gallant Friend must have in mind unemployed officers and not officers on leave from an appointment. If so, any comparison with the British emoluments of officers of lower rank still in employment is misleading. The rates of unemployed pay of general officers of the Indian Army are also under consideration, and I can certainly promise that these will not be less than the emoluments of similarly situated British service officers of corresponding rank.