18 OCTOBER 1873, Page 15



your impressiOn of the 11th you comment on Colonel Lord-Lindsay's speech to the Berkshire electors on Tuesday last, and in so " doing condemn his opinion that in the event of an 'officer losing his life during the Ashantee war, the State should refund to his family the pride of that officer's commission.

May I be permitted to state what are considered to be the grounds for expecting the Government to act in the manner sug- gested by Colonel Lindsay? An officer's purchase-money has 'hitherto been as much his property as his sword, and could only be forfeited on three conditions :—Firstly, by death (in which case the promotion was given to the senior in the regiment of the grade below that of the deceased) ; secondly, by his attaining the rank of major-general ; and thirdly, by sentence of a court-martial, -consequent on his own misconduct. The conditions of service being changed, the State is bound to carry out the terms of the contract under which its servants agreed to be board, and it will be seen that the first of the conditions above quoted has not been maintained, for although a brother officer may be promoted to a death vacancy, he no longer reaps the benefit of succeeding to the purchase money of the deceased. The State, therefore, not being -able to fulfil its contract in on particular, may fairly be expected to counterbalance this breach of faith ; and I ask you whether it would be unfair to the taxpayer if the Government were to refrain from annexing the purchase-money of those who may die in its service, while at the same time they forbid any member of the

profession profiting by it.—I am, Sir, &c., AN OFFICER.