HC Deb 19 November 1959 vol 613 cc155-6W
76. Mr. A. E. Cooper

asked the Minister of State for Commonwealth Relations why, and by what authority, when responsibility for payment of the retired pay awarded by the Army Council in 1934 to Mr. H. R. Sandford, a former officer of the British Army, was transferred from the War Office to the India Office, the payment was sanctioned of a compassionate allowance of an equivalent amount in lieu of the retired pay; and to what extent the payment of the retired pay of all officers of the Royal Engineers who, through length of service in India, have qualified for the addition of an Indian element to their retired pay, is being administered by the Commonwealth Relations Office.

Mr. Alport

The payment of a compassionate allowance to Mr. Sandford was authorised by the Secretary of State for India in Council in accordance with the normal procedure in force at the time. Up to 31st January, 1945, the whole amount of the pension of a Royal Engineer Officer who had qualified for the addition of an Indian element was payable to the officer by the Government of India. In the case of those retiring after that date, the portion of the pension admissible under British rules was paid to the officer from British Army funds and the Indian element was paid separately from Indian funds. This arrangement had no retrospective effect.

Up to 31st March, 1955, first the India Office and later the Commonwealth Relations Office acted as agents for the Government of India in disbursing the pensions for which Indian revenues were liable. These pensions were then transferred to the administration of the United Kingdom Government in accordance with the Pensions (India, Pakistan and Burma) Act, 1955.