Extract from the minutes of the 155th meeting of the Executive Commmittee of the Army Council held on Friday March 31st 1944 (Page One)

Extract from the minutes of the 155th meeting of the Executive Commmittee of the Army Council held on Friday March 31st 1944 (Page Two)

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Extract from the minutes of the 155th meeting of the Executive Committee of the Army council held of Friday 31st March 1944

20 General 6022A

72. Powers of command of officers of the women’s auxiliary Corps (India) in relation to military personnel

AG said that he saw many disadvantages in the proposal, referred to in his paper (E.C.A.C./P(44)29), that a regulation should be issued by the Government of India giving powers of command to Indian women officers, equally with British women officers, of the Women’s Auxiliary Corps (India), which might result in the exercise of such over white troops; he was not sure, however, on what grounds a refusal by the Army Council to agree to such a regulation should be based. The Government of India desired to model their Women’s Auxiliary Corps on the A.T.S., and this involved giving powers of command, by analogy, to women officers of the W.A.C. (India); further, such powers would have to be given to both British and Indian women officers, or to neither category.
In discussion, it was agreed that the proposal was difficult to withstand on purely logical grounds, but the opinion of most members was emphatically against conveying Army Council agreement to the Government of India’s suggested regulation. One member, while sharing the general dislike of the proposal, thought that, if the regulation nevertheless were issued, it was necessary that Indian women officers should have the same powers of command as British women officers, but that the “superior military authority” at whose discretion such powers would be exercised over military officers and soldiers, should be of rank not below that of brigadier, and not field rank as the draft regulation appended to E.C.A.C./P(44)29 proposed.
It was suggested that the regulation, if issued, might be likely to place an undue strain on the discipline of the troops who might find themselves subject to powers of command of women officers of the W.A.C. (India).

(72) The Committee:-
disapproved of the proposal of the Government of India, as set out in E.C.A.C./P(44)29, to publish a regulation which would have the effect of giving Indian women officers power of command over white troops, and invited A.G. to reply accordingly to the India Office.

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