LIVING ON THEIR PAY.
[To rex Eons or run " Srucraroz."]
reply to " X?' in your issue of the 10th inst., my own experience may be helpful. I was recently granted a temporary commission in a service battalion of one of the most distinguished of the Highland regiments, at present stationed (in buts) at a training camp in Scotland. My outfit cost me about 270. I went to the best shops for everything, and indulged in several articles with which I could probably Lave dispensed. Otherwise I could have kept within the £50 which the Government allow to the recipients of temporary commissions: I know several who have spent even less. I am not only living on my pay, but saving money. The officers draw the same rations as the men, and our mess-bills for extras (such as butter, eggs, fish, milk, and vegetables) average about 2e. 6cl. a day. This is more than covered by the "field allow- ance " to each subaltern of 2.s. 10d. a day. I pay my servant 2s. 6d. a week, and about as much will amply cover laundry expenses in this district of moderate prices. There are no other necessary expenses at all (I may add that the whole mess is, by common agreement, "on the water-waggon" for the duration of the war). This leaves almost my whole pay (Bs. 6d. a day) at my disposal for tobacco, stamps, and pocket- money—which it is very hard to spend in this part of the world. No doubt our messing (which is in the hands of a committee of the officers) is exceptionally well and cheaply done, but I am assured by my company commander—a man of wide military experience—that be has beard of no unit in the New Army where it is not perfectly possible for an officer to live on his pay whilst in camp. Probably in billets, if the officers were as usual domiciled in an hotel, the cost of living would be much higher. But I think your correspondent need not be debarred from accepting a commission by any fear that be cannot live on his pay, under present service conditions. Let me add for his information that I have never enjoyed
my life so keenly as I am now doing.—I am, Sir, &c., Z.