March 18, 1901 (9th Parliament, 1st Session)


Samuel Hughes


Mr. S. HUGHES (North Victoria).

Before the Orders of the Day, I wish to call the attention of the Minister of Militia to a matter which has been brought under my notice. Possibly the most concise way to lay the case before the minister is to read a letter which I have received and concerning which I have notified the hon. gentleman. The letter has reference to Corporal H. S. Moodie, and another non-commissioned officer, and I believe this case is similar to that of other non-commissioned officers who have returned from South Africa. A friend writes me as follows :
On leaving St. Johns depot in October, 1899, to join the 2nd (S.S.) Royal Canadian Regiment, Corporal H. S. Moodie was a lance-corporal and was promoted to corporal on board the ss. Sardinian, which rank he held until his return in October last, when he was taken on the strength of the depot with the rank he held in the 2nd Battalion.
On return all N.C. officers who had received promotion while in South Africa rejoined their depots retaining the rank they held in the 2nd Battalion.
Now, an order has been received by the commandant of the depot at St. Johns, Que., to say that N.C. officers who had received promotion while in South Africa would retain their rank as supernumeraries in their depots, without pay, they only to draw pay for the rank they held prior to leaving for South Africa, and any pay they had drawn in excess of the rank pay they were drawing before leaving for South Africa is to be refunded. Sergeant Allen's time expires on the 16th inst., so that he has to go away under this injustice, not having time to get satisfaction or have the wrong righted.
There are two here who are affected by this order, viz.: Sergeant Allen, who was promoted from corporal, and H. S. Moodie, promoted from lance-corporal.
Moodie's case is much more serious, as his term of service expires on the 21st of April, and he intends accepting his discharge.
You may see by this action that all Moodie's good conduct pay is absorbed by having to refund 20 cents a day since rejoining, which amounts to $33.
Moodie had an application in for rejoining the South African Constabulary, and was accepted.
He applied to purchase his discharge; this was refused at the last minute, after he had disposed of all his civilian clothes, and surplus kit at a great loss, and now as he has only a few weeks to serve, the government takes all his good conduct pay he has earned for the last few years, and will then turn him out on the world absolutely penniless.
There are a number in each depot similarly affected.
It is not necessary that I should read the balance of the letter.

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