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Government Chaplains

Volume 161: debated on Wednesday 14 March 1923

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asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether, having regard to the serious dislocation likely to occur in the supply of chaplains for British India and the consequent mischief likely to arise, he will see his way to defer the operation of the order made last autumn stopping the recruitment of Government chaplains for British India; and whether he will state for what period of years such Government chaplains were as a rule appointed?

My Noble Friend the Secretary of State for India is fully alive to the situation which the hon. Member describes, and is in communication with the Government of India. Chaplains qualify for retiring pension after 20 years' residence in India and 23 years' service, and ordinarily may be required to retire at the age of 55. They may also now retire with a bonus on completion of five years' service.

This question was put some weeks ago and the matter is now getting urgent as, unless the orders withdrawn, the supply will cease?

I assure my hon. and learned Friend that my Noble Friend the Secretary of State quite appreciates the urgency of the matter.