Mr Rupert Gwynne: Will the hon. Gentleman see that these articles are not used, as undoubtedly has been the case in the present instance, for the purpose of advertising the merits of the present Government, to the discredit of the former Government?
Mr Rupert Gwynne: 47. asked the Prime Minister whether arrangements have yet been made to secure some payment on account for those British subjects who had trading interests and suffered loss through the German occupation of Belgium?
Mr Rupert Gwynne: What does the right hon. Gentleman mean, by "shortly"?
Mr Rupert Gwynne: Will the right hon. Gentleman say what guardians?
Mr Rupert Gwynne: I do not want to delay the Third Reading of the Bill, but there are one or two points with which the Parliamentary Secretary has not dealt quite satisfactorily so far as I am concerned. Firstly, there is the point raised by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Barkston Ash (Lieut.-Colonel Lane-Fox) as to the effect of casual labour that is called in to help. We are not satisfied on this...
Mr Rupert Gwynne: 10. asked the Under-Secretary of State for India the number of pensioned officers of the Indian services, other than members of the Indian Civil Service, who retired previous to 23rd July, 1913?
Mr Rupert Gwynne: This case has recently been fully and carefully reconsidered by the medical authorities at the War Office, who are unable to find any grounds for departing from the finding of the Medical Board, held on 3rd April last, namely, that the man's disability was due to constitutional causes and was in no way attributable to his service in the Army. In these circumstances, as I informed the hon....
Mr Rupert Gwynne: It is because of the representations made that the case has been thoroughly reinvestigated, and the medical authorities of the War Office are quite clear that they are unable to state that this man's disability was due to his service.
Mr Rupert Gwynne: The hon. Member has just pointed out that this man has been under medical attention for years, and that does not quite bear out his former statement that he was perfectly fit all his life, but this case has been fully considered. The man has been before a medical board, and we have no power to go behind that board's decision.
Mr Rupert Gwynne: The hon. Member does not seem to realise that this has already been done. The case was reconsidered, and this man had an opportunity of bringing evidence to refute the medical report.
Mr Rupert Gwynne: Arrangements are now being made which will enable the soldier to purchase goods at the canteens at the same rate in marks for the £1 sterling as that at which he receives his army pay. These arrangements will come into effect by next pay-day, the 3rd August.
Mr Rupert Gwynne: That point has been raised on many occasions, and I have stated why we cannot do it. I have made these arrangements, which I think will meet the situation.
Mr Rupert Gwynne: The hon. and gallant Member should be aware, seeing that he has served so much abroad, that it is the invariable custom to pay the troops in the currency of the country in which they are stationed.
Mr Rupert Gwynne: If we paid in sterling we would not get the marks from Germany which at the present time we are getting.
Mr Rupert Gwynne: With the hon. Member's permission, I will circulate these figures in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
Mr Rupert Gwynne: It is the invariable practice of the Department to treat contract prices as strictly confidential, and I regret that in these circumstances I am not in a position to state the actual average prices. I may say, however, that the prices tendered for fresh meat for the period 1st July to 31st December, 1923, showed generally an excess of 100 per cent. or more over those for frozen meat, though...
Mr Rupert Gwynne: Economies are constantly being effected in this corps as opportunity arises, and its cost has been reduced by 45 per cent. since 1921–22. As regards the second part of the question, I would refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply given yesterday to the hon. and gallant Member for Basingstoke (Sir A. Holbrook).
Mr Rupert Gwynne: If the hon. and gallant Member will read the answer I gave yesterday, he will see that no decision has yet been come to.
Mr Rupert Gwynne: I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave him on the 6th July, on this very point.
Mr Rupert Gwynne: If the hon. Gentleman will read my reply of 6th July, he will see that I answered the question very fully, and that my Department must act on the definite rules laid down in the Army Order.