§ Sir J. BUTCHER
asked the Secretary of State for India whether the radical change in the system under which accounts 673W of the pay of officers and men of the Indian Army are prepared, which is referred to on page 27 of the Report of Lord Esher's Committee (Cmd. 943), has yet been introduced; and, if not, whether, in view of the great delays which have taken place under the existing system in preparing the necessary statements of accounts and paying officers and men the moneys due to them, a change in the system will be made at the earliest date?
§ Mr. MONTAGU
As I informed my hon. and learned Friend on the 18th inst., I have asked the Government of India what action they are taking in this matter. There has not yet been time for a reply to be received.
asked the Secretary of State for India whether he is aware that, under reference M.O. 5136/2, dated 27th April, 1920, his Department promised settlement in the accounts of ex-Sergeant James Pettigrew, No. 236, 1st Seaforth Highlanders, who left India on 13th January, 1919, for demobilisation; that it was stated in April, 1920, that a report regarding the accounts had been sent to the regimental paymaster at Perth, who now explains that he cannot settle without further information from the Indian Accounting Department; and that, although 22 months have now elapsed since demobilisation, it has been quite impossible to get satisfaction in this matter; and whether, in the circumstances, he will instruct an immediate settlement to be made?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply to this question. I regret that in the time available it has not been possible for me to investigate this case, but I have instituted immediate inquiries, and will write to the hon. Member as soon as I am in a position to do so.
Mr. ALFRED DAVIES (Clitheroe)
asked the Secretary of State for War whether all the members of the Mesopotamia Expeditionary Force, who had returned home and were demobilised on 30th October, 1919, have received a final settlement of their accounts; and, if not, when a final settlement may be expected?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
Settlement has been effected in all cases where last pay certificates have been received from the674W authorities in India. In cases where last pay certificates have not been received, they have been immediately applied for, in many cases by cable. The accounts are closed within 48 hours of the receipt of the certificates in question in home pay office.