§ COLONEL KINGSCOTE
asked the Secretary of State for War, If he would explain to the House the reasons why the Lieutenant Colonels of Depôt Battalions who, previous to the abolition of purchase in the Army, paid in good faith, as was then customary, over-regulation sums of money in order to obtain promotion and employment in the Service, and who, at the time of doing so, were guaranteed by Government regulations the same rights and privileges in regard to position as the Lieutenant Colonels of Line Battalions, are to be now considered as ineligible to receive the same consideration and compensation in respect of repayment of their over-regulation money as is granted to the Lieutenant Colonels of Line Battalions; and, should no powers now exist to remove this inequality, whether he will take the necessary steps to introduce a measure which would place the Depôt Battalion Lieutenant Colonels so situated on the same footing in regard to receiving compensation as Lieutenant Colonels of the Line?
MR. GATHORNE HARDY
Sir, these questions are entirely in the hands of the Army Purchase Commission, and, as I understand, there is only evidence before them of one Lieutenant Colonelcy of a Depôt Battalion purchased by a payment in excess of regulation, and they do not think that a single transaction can constitute a custom which would warrant them in awarding over-regulation in respect of these positions generally. They further consider that, as in 1866, these appointments were made tenable for five years only, it is not probable that the officers succeeding to them would make a payment on the footing of over-regulation which they could not realize at the end of their tenure. The Commissioners are of opinion that whatever may have been the pecuniary loss to these officers by reason of their compulsory reduction 1837 prior to 1871, their position was not appreciably made worse by the abolition of Purchase, inasmuch as their chance of gratuitous restoration to full-pay had Purchase continued would have been exceedingly small. Under the circumstances, I do not contemplate any legislation on the subject.