Supplementary memorandum from the Gurkha
International Group of Companies
We have now had the chance to read the Uncorrected
Evidence presented by Dr Denis MacShane MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary
of State on 13 June 2002, and submit further comments with reference
to that Uncorrected Evidence.
In Paragraph 178, Mr Andrew Mackinlay MP questions
the use of the word "Gurkhas" outside Her Majesty's
Forces, and in the context of private companies. Dr MacShane at
Paragraph 179 expresses his surprise at meeting the word in this
context. As this is a matter of some importance for ourselves
(we have used the word in our title since 1994), we feel that
this is worth clarifying.
Gurkha (or Goorkha) is the town and state from
which the present Royal Family of Nepal derived in the 18th century.
Its armies were manned by "Gurkhas", and the name thus
passed into useage as the name for members of the Nepalese Army
and for men recruited by other Armies and organisations from Nepal.
It is currently used of soldiers in the Royal Nepalese, Indian
and British Armies, as well as of retired British Gurkhas in the
Sultan of Brunei's Gurkha Reserve Unit and of policemen in the
Gurkha Contingent of the Singapore Police Force. It is a name
much used in Nepal in tourism and commerce, and is the brand name
of items such as cigarettes and alcohol there. It is used by many
companies in Nepal involved in recruiting and employment, and
in security duties. It is also used in other countries such as
Hong Kong in the same way.
From a British viewpoint, the use of the word
is important in securing employment for our ex-soldiers. Gurkhas
are recruited worldwide, and are sought by employers of many types
who recognise them as attractive potential employees because they
are "Gurkhas". Potential employers need to be able to
seek ex-Gurkha servicemen from sources which can be identified
by them as recruiting and employing Gurkhas. Efforts to find employment
for our ex-servicemen would suffer if there were to be any difficulties
made regarding the use of the name. It is the mission of our Company
Group to find employment for our ex-servicemen Gurkhas, and we
do that best by using their name in our title.
Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Managing Director
Gurkha International Group of Companies