§ MR. KING
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for India (1) whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that by the Military Furlough Rules of November, 1868, it was provided that all officers who entered the Staff Corps after that date were promised that if they would enter the service of the Indian Government they should receive, when on furlough, half pay "calculated at the rate of 2s. for every rupee;" that between November, 1868, and July, 1871, a considerable number of officers were drawn into the Indian Staff Corps from the British Service by the promise, 1417 of this and other advantages; and that in July, 1871, the rule was altered, and for the words above quoted were substituted the words "at the current rate of exchange;" (2) whether it is usual, or was intended to give this rule an ex post facto operation; (3) can he explain why, since 1871, the Indian Government has refused to fulfil to officers who entered the Staff Corps between 1868 and 1871 the promise contained in the rule of 1868; whether on the other hand some officers who had joined the Staff Corps previously to November, 1868, have been granted the benefits of the rule of that date, on the ground that they had elected that rule, or on any other ground; (4) and whether the Secretary of State has ruled that officers to whom the promise was directly held out as an inducement to join the Service are to receive less favoured treatment than officers who were already in the Service when the rule was made; and, if so, whether he will re-consider that ruling?
*SIR J. GORST
The answer to the first question of the hon. Member is in the affirmative. The answer to the second question is that it is not an ex post facto operation, but an operation on those officers who joined the Staff Corps between 1868 and 1871. As to questions number 3 and 4, I have to say that the ground of distinction between the two classes of officers is that one had elected the Rules of 1868, having the option to do so or not, while the other had no such option. The answer to the last question of the hon. Member is that the question has been repeatedly decided by successive Secretaries of State in Council, and as no new facts have been adduced, the Secretary of State does not consider that he would be warranted in disturbing their decision.