HC Deb 22 February 1922 vol 150 cc1938-9W

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he has now received information as to the terms on which the men of the South Persia Rifles have been disbanded and what has become of them; whether the equipment offered to the Persian Government has been taken or not; what proportion of the guns, rifles, horses, mules, stores, and munitions supplied by the Government of India have been withdrawn to the coast; what have been destroyed locally; what is the estimated value of what has been destroyed locally; what sum the Persian Government is to be called upon to pay to recompense the Government of India for its expenditure on this Persian force; and whether the Persian Government or the British Government or private individuals have had to bear the expense of the forced evacuation of British women and children from Shiraz, necessitated by the disbandment of the South Persia Rifles?


All officers and men received in addition to all pay and allowances due, a gratuity equivalent to two months' pay. Men were also allowed to keep the greater part of their clothing. The majority of the men have dispersed to their homes. A few have joined other Persian forces and a few have migrated to Mesopotamia. The Persian Government took over 700 rifles and 200 boxes 303 ammunition, also a very small quantity of equipment, and 45 horses. Approximately two-thirds of the equipment on charge of the force has been withdrawn to India. The following articles, of which the estimated value was Rs.250,000, were destroyed:

  1. (a) Unserviceable articles;
  2. (b) Ammunition, less 200 boxes S.A.A., taken over by the Persian Government.
  3. (c) Two-thirds of the rifles and carbines on charge (the remaining third was withdrawn).
    • Four 10-pounder Mountain guns.
    • Five Maxim guns.
    • One Hotchkiss automatic rifle.
All stores, equipment, animals and other assets not destroyed or withdrawn to India, were disposed of by local sale. It is not proposed to claim anything from the Persian Government to recompense the Government of India for their expenditure on this Persian force. In cases of evacuation of British women and children, the cost has been borne by the individuals themselves.