asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether it is a fact that the Chief Clerk of the Military Department, whose appointment was struck out of the Army Estimates (which were in the hands of Members of the House of Commons in February last), has not yet been informed what provision has been made for him by way of superannuation; whether the Chief Clerk (Mr. Freeth), who has served nearly thirty-five years, retires voluntarily or in consequence of the abolition of his appointment; whether, as far back as the 4th of April last, His Royal Highness the Field Marshal Commanding-in-Chief was pleased to recommend Mr. Freeth for full pay, or the highest rate of retirement to which his special services seemed to His Royal Highness justly to entitle him; and, whether such recommendation, together with Mr. Freeth's appeals of the 22nd and 25th of February, and 8th of March, containing high testimonials from Generals Sir Richard Airey, Sir Charles Yorke, and Lieutenant General Forster (under whom Mr. Freeth served) have been laid before the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury; and, if so, with what result?
Sir, the question between the War Office and the Chief Clerk of the Military Department, has only now been finally settled between the Departments, and therefore, the final result has only now been communicated to Mr. Freeth. He retires not voluntarily, but in consequence of the abolition of his appointment. The usual course has been taken—namely, that the recommendation of His Royal Highness has been laid by the Secretary of State before the Lords of the Treasury. The letters referred to in the Question were not given to me, except that of the 8th of March, on which the recommendation of His Royal Highness the Field Marshal Commanding-in-Chief was made, which formed the substance of the official letter to the Treasury. The Lords of the Treasury have assigned to Mr. Freeth a retiring allowance of 40–60ths of his pay, being the highest amount they considered they had it in their power to give under the Superannuation Act.