HC Deb 11 May 1819 vol 40 cc315-30
Mr. J. P. Grant

rose, pursuant to notice, to move for certain papers relative to the expense of the Ophthalmic hospital and contingencies, now introduced into the army estimates for the first time. He brought this motion forward, because the expense appeared to him perfectly of a novel nature, in order that it might be ascertained whether such expense was necessary or not. The noble lord connected with the war department having said he should have no objection to give every information on the subject, he was much surprised to learn, on laying his motion before him, that the papers it called for were such as the noble lord declined to grant. From the information which he (Mr. J. P. Grant) had received, the case was this. The ophthalmia having prevailed to a considerable extent in our army, an hospital had, during the war, been established at Bognor for the cure of that disorder; great cures of it had been effected; and the disease was found of late years to have happily abated in the army. Notwithstanding this, in a time of peace, and at a moment when public economy was so much talked of, not only a new establishment was formed, but a gentleman (Sir W. Adams) was placed at the head of it, who never had been in the army; and who had therefore no claim to military patronage; who was in fact, an oculist of this town, and who, though he was not even now in the army, was placed over the heads of many eminent men who had devoted their lives to the service of their country, and who were now receiving half-pay. The services of these men might, it appeared to him, have been very properly called for when such an institution was thought necessary. Of the professional talents of the gentleman who had thus received the appointment, he knew nothing, he had heard that they were very respectable, and he believed it; but however that might be, he could not see why any gentleman, no matter how able in his profession, should have been selected in preference to many skilful and meritorious military men. The formation of the new establishment might be a right or a wrong measure; and, as to ascertain that was his only object, he should avoid unnecessarily entering into minute details. The hon. member concluded by moving for copies of all letters or communications that had passed between the Commander in Chief, the Secretary at war, and the army Medical Board, relative to the soldiers or Chelsea pensioners affected with the Ophthalmia, since the appointment of the present director of army hospitals. He also moved for copies of all reports or representations made from Chelsea college respecting Chelsea pen- sioners under the care of sir W. Adams; and for various other papers connected with the same subject.

The motion having been seconded, and the question put,

Lord Palmerston

rose and said, he was far from being sorry that this opportunity had been afforded to him for explaining the nature of the Ophthalmic institution; and he hoped, he should be able, before he sat down, to convince the House that it was not one undeserving the support of the government. During the war, the ophthalmia had made an alarming progress in the army; an hospital for the treatment of the disease had, in consequence, been established; but the practice there certainly did not turn out so successful as could have been wished. He said this without meaning at all to reflect on the head of that establishment (Dr. Vetch), from whom, he believed, the hon. gentleman had received most of his information on this subject, and who, he understood, had been of opinion that he ought to have been made the superintendant of the new establishment, instead of sir W. Adams. It was the anxious wish of his royal highness the commander in chief to ascertain the best mode of treating ophthalmia. Sir W. Adams was said to have introduced a new and improved system. To make a certain trial of its effects, a number of pensioners afflicted with the disorder were placed under his care, and the result was, that a rapid and important improvement was observed to take place among them. The treatment of these poor people gave the highest satisfaction.—Sir W. Adams succeeded in rescuing many of them from a state of utter hopelessness and misery, and enabling them to become useful to themselves and to society [Hear! hear!]. This was not all, for in 1814, sir William's practice received the decided sanction and approbation of a number of medical gentlemen expressly appointed by government to examine its merits. To show the weight to which their opinions were entitled, he had only to mention the names of Sir H. Halford, Dr. Baillie, and Messrs. Home, Cline, A. Cooper, and Abernethy. The noble lord then quoted the following passages from the opinion of Dr. Baillie:—" I think he has the merit of introducing a practice which is likely to be highly useful in a particular chronic state of ophthalmia." And again—" His mode of operating by a knife of his own invention promises to be much more efficient, and to be more expeditious in accomplishing the cure, than that of Mr. Saunders, and likely to preserve the eyes of many individuals, which would otherwise have been lost." He also read extracts from the opinions of some of the other gentlemen alluded to, which were of a similar purport. Accordingly, the foundation of a new institution for the exclusive treatment of pensioners belonging to the several departments of the public service was resolved upon. But the new mode of treatment had been invariably opposed by the army medical practitioners, so that it was useless to think of associating Sir W. Adams with them; and the only way of rendering his system generally available was, to place himself at the head of the establishment.—In 1817, a part of York hospital was appropriated to the purpose with two medical officers assigned to act under sir W. Adams, and up to this time, the establishment had continued on this footing. The York hospital being found inconvenient, and moreover in the way of some improvements which lord Grosvenor, to whom the ground belonged, was about to make, an arrangement was made with an architect, who engaged to take a lease of some crown lands in the Marylebone fields, adjoining the Regent's park, and to build an hospital at his own expense, on condition that the public should rent it for seven years. The rent then of the building was the only expense that would fall on the public, while a tenant was secured till the expiration of the lease. It was due to sir Wm. Adams to state, that he stipulated for no compensation whatever for his services; that he had been on the establishment now for a year and a half, attending with the utmost zeal and assiduity, without having received any remuneration whatever; leaving that to the consideration of government, to be estimated according to the success of his system.—What he had now said was in part an answer to the objection on the score of expense, because, if any military man had been appointed to preside over the new institution, he would have expected to be paid in proportion to his trouble and responsibility; and therefore the proposition being assumed, that an hospital for the treatment of ophthalmia and its effects, ought to have been erected, his statement showed, that, as to expense for medical assistance, it had been established on the most saving plan. It would be tedious to go through the various objections successively raised against sir William Adams's practice. First, it was said not to have been successful—but that objection was overcome by the success attendant on repeated public experiments. Then it was alleged that the ophthalmia had been eradicated; while it appeared, on incontrovertible evidence, that at the very time whole regiments were labouring under a most severe inflammation in the eyes, which, let it be called what it might, terminated in blindness. Next it was urged, that if the disease were not extinguished, the surgeons of the army were as competent to cure it as sir W. Adams. To which the latter replied, "it may be so, but your competency appears five years after you have availed yourself of the improvements which I introduced." [Hear, hear.]—This indeed was the fact, for sir W. Adams had cured many persons who had been under the care of the army surgeons without obtaining any benefit. He (lord Palmerston) had himself inspected a number of the cases treated in the new institution, and he could assure the House, that never in the course of his life had he enjoyed a greater gratification. He had found that, in various instances, relief had been afforded to the patients to a degree that he could not have thought possible—[Hear.] He should not trespass much longer on the time of the House—but he should beg leave to describe one or two of the cases with which he was acquainted from his own personal knowledge. Wm. Hill, a soldier in the 63rd regiment, was admitted into the hospital in July, 1817; his eye-lids were villous with opacity and vascularity of both cornea; Hill himself described his state of vision at that time to be such, that he could not distinguish a post or a tree. He was discharged in January last, the villosity of the lids and opacity and vascularity of the cornea having been removed, and the opacity of the left cornea nearly so. With the right eye Hill could read the smallest print of a newspaper fluently; with his left he could read moderately sized print, tell the minute and second marks on a watch-dial; and he said he could, on a clear day, discern large objects at the distance of a mile. Charles Smith said, that on his admission in June, 1818, he could not see his fin- gers at arm's length; he was discharged in January last, at which period he could read very small print, write, and work at his trade of a shoemaker, having, in fact, worked several weeks at the hospital previous to his discharge. Gavine Young, on his admission, could only distinguish light from darkness. He was admitted in July, 1818, and discharged in Jan. 1819, being able to walk any where with perfect ease and security, read small print, and tell the hour by a watch. Another pensioner, who had been 30 years afflicted with disease in his eyes, and describing himself as unable to distinguish one object from another, left the hospital in a condition to resume his trade as a goldsmith.—Me begged pardon for going into these details, and should mention but one case more. It was that of John Silver, a soldier of the 89th regiment, who was forty-eight years of age, and who for the preceding seventeen years, was so much afflicted, as to be able merely to distinguish light from darkness. This man, within less than four months, after being placed under the care of sir W. Adams, could walk any where alone, and by the assistance of a glass, could tell the hour by a watch. Having himself examined this as well as the other cases, he could testify to the facts he had stated, and to the accuracy of the late report from the Ophthalmic hospital. Nothing could exceed the delight and gratitude with which these poor soldiers described the benefits they had received from sir Wm. Adams's treatment; and it was one of the most pleasing sights that had ever fallen to his lot, to witness the gratifying effects of that treatment.—He had already stated, that there was a great opposition and prejudice against sir W. Adams among the medical gentlemen of the army. He should now produce a remarkable instance of it, but was unwilling to mention names. Two men of the 64th regiment were taken from Chatham and put under the care of sir W. Adams in the Ophthalmic institution. After undergoing treatment there, they were inspected by the Staff surgeon of York hospital, and considered so far recovered as to be reported to be fit for foreign service, and they were ordered, as a preparatory step, to the Isle of Wight. The surgeon at that place disagreed with the Staff-surgeon, and pronounced the men unfit for foreign service. Accordingly they were kept at the York hospital, doing garrison duty from September till November, and then sent back to Chatham. Among the other charges against the new practice was this, that persons supposed to be cured of the effects of ophthalmia were liable to a relapse, and of this it was thought, these two men would furnish an example. With a view to produce such an example, a medical officer in town had written a letter, a copy of which he begged leave to read to the House. This letter was dated, London, 18th February, 1819:—"My dear—;I was much disappointed at the two men of the 64th regiment not having been sent to the last Chelsea board, as I had arranged matters in such a manner that they were to have gone to the board, and the Attention of the commissioners was to have been directed towards the state of their eyes; and all this was done quietly, without any person connected with sir W. A. knowing any thing concerning the business. I would recommend you not to mention their names in any correspondence you may have here, at all events till they are snugly lodged in the York hospital. I hope you have not meddled with their occhi, and that you will not prevent their getting drunk, so that they may have proper vascular cornea. I this morning saw two of my old patients from Chatham, who had passed the Chelsea board about a fortnight ago, and who were taken, with several others, into the Knight's hospital; Gorden and M'Gee. The former has already been dismissed from the hospital without any thing having been done to his eyes, and the poor fellow complains of having been prevented going home and detained here. The latter, M'Gee, did himself the honour, as he termed it, to call upon me to-day to pay his respects, and to thank me for my attention to him when he was under my care. I examined his eyes minutely, and everted the lids, not however with the elevator, as I do not carry such an instrument (although I am informed that you do). His eyes are looking remarkably well, and the linings are perfectly smooth. I cautioned him particularly against drinking lest he should induce a relapse, and he promised faithfully to obey my injunction I also saw Burton of the 86th regiment, one of the same batch whom be had taken into the hospital. I take it for granted you recollect the man's case perfectly. He was likewise an old friend of mine. There was, when I saw him (about a week ago) a large vessel running from above downwards, over the cornea of the right eye. The left appeared to be very well. I had not an opportunity of examining him particularly, but I shall take an early opportunity of doing so, which I shall the more readily accomplish as I have just heard that the poor knight fell from his horse yesterday, and received a severe injury of the knee, but I have not learnt the particulars."

This letter having been addressed "On the public service," and sent from the medical board, it was attempted to forward it free through the War-office. But the examining clerk, whose duty it was to read all letters before they were franked, lest the privilege of the office should be abused, discovering that this was a private letter of a peculiar nature, very properly submitted it to his (lord P.'s) view, and he felt it his duty to take notice of it. Letters sent to the War-office to be franked were usually sent open, as this letter was, but although the office had by law the power to examine such letters before they were for warded, he (lord P.) had reason to believe, that it was pretty generally supposed in the army this power was rarely if ever exercised. This, however, was a great mistake, as, to his knowledge, for some years that duty was regularly executed according to law; a clerk being specially appointed for the purpose. Whether this duty was neglected, and the public revenue defrauded through an abuse of the privilege of the office at other times, he could not pretend to say; but since his accession to the appointment which he had the honour to hold, he had taken special care that no such neglect or fraud should take place, and that the prescriptions of the law should be strictly enforced. It would be seen from this insidious letter, that while the writer was anxious that the patients of sir Wm. Adams should be allowed to get drunk, in order that they might have a relapse, or, as he so classically termed it, "a proper vascular cornea," he very particularly enjoins his own patients not to get drunk, lest they should induce a relapse. But what would the House think of the disposition and principles of this writer, when informed, that at the very time he wrote this letter, he was making the strongest professions of friendship for sir William Adams, when he was soliciting for an appointment in the new establishment, and, that sir William was actually endeavouring to promote his views? The House had, he admitted, a right to decide whether the establishment ought or not to be kept in existence; but he deprecated its making, itself a party in the contest on the pretensions of professional adversaries. He wished those he addressed, to visit the institution—to examine it in every part, and on the decision they might then come to, as to its value, he would cheerfully risk its fate. But he had only to entreat that they would at the same time recollect the magnitude of the privation, and the extent of the calamity it was instituted to alleviate. The whole expense would not exceed 1,500l. a year, and if it restored even a few veterans to that degree of vision, that they would be less a burden to themselves, and be enabled to spend the evening of their days with a greater degree of comfort, he could not believe the House would withhold this valuable relief from the poor disabled soldier or sailor when purchased on such easy terms [Hear, hear]. He said again, that he was willing to stake the existence of the hospital on a personal inspection of its visible and actual effects. Let gentlemen go there and judge of it by questioning the men themselves: let them ask them what was their state on entering it, and see their state previous to being discharged; but he could not consent to the production of the papers, as he thought they would not contribute to real information, or lead to useful discussion. It would indeed be obviously improper to make that House an arena for medical controversy, which would be much better carried on through the press, and more properly left to the judgment of the public.

Sir J. Mackintosh

remarked, that the noble lord had said the papers ought not to be laid before the House, as they would only make it acquainted with one side of the question. But the noble lord spoke on one side of the question; why then object to let the House be made acquainted with the other? The noble lord said, the merits of the parties opposed to each other on this occasion ought to be left to the discernment of the public. Right! He would agree to this, but the expense of the new establishment ought also to be left to be decided on by the discernment of the public. The House owed it to that justice due to the medical officers of the army, a body of men who had distinguished themselves as much as any other part of the service during the war; and who in the judgment of all Europe had contributed eminently to the advancement of their art, to institute the fullest inquiry into the reasons of their being superseded on this occasion by an individual not connected with the army at all. They could not but feel hurt at being passed over in this manner. The noble lord had dwelt much on the letter he had read; now that letter had been produced either as a specimen of the general conduct of the army practitioners, or as an exception, to it. If the latter, it all came to nothing; but if it were exhibited in the former view, the noble lord ought in fairness to have given, and he now called upon him to give, the name of the writer, that it might be disavowed, and that a whole body of respectable men might not suffer in character for the act of an individual. The true question was, whether there was any such superiority in the gentleman appointed, as to justify the putting him above all medical officers at the end of a protracted and arduous war, in the course of which they had rendered the greatest services to their country. He wished to ask the noble lord, if, since the Report in favour of sir William Adams, which he had mentioned as having been made in 1814, one of a different nature had not appeared? If he were not grossly misinformed, some of the greatest medical men in the world were decidedly adverse to the system of sir William Adams. To visit the establishment, as recommended by the noble lord, would be useless, unless those who did so had an opportunity of comparing the patients under the care of sir Wm. Adams, with the same number of similar cases under the care of the medical officers of the army. He did not mean absolutely to affirm, that he differed in opinion with the noble lord, that the gentleman in question was not properly selected, or that the course pursued was wrong or unjust,—but he did say, that what was due to a large body of gentlemen, required that their opinions, stating the grounds on which they differed from that individual, should be laid before the House. The very circumstance of his treatment being made a secret had something suspicious in it, and was completely opposite to the uniform practice of enlightened men. [The hon. and learned gentleman was here interrupted by lord Palmerston, who declared he had not said a syllable of sir Wm. Adams's practice being kept secret, that practice being, on the contrary, made completely public]. He should sit down expressing his decided opinion, that the House would not deal fairly, if they did not cause the papers to be produced.

Mr. Hutchinson

said, that the noble lord was entitled to great praise for his exertions to eradicate one of the most painful and afflicting of disorders. It had been his lot, from circumstances not necessary to detail to the House, to see many an example of the melancholy and grievous effects of ophthalmia, and from all he saw and knew on the subject, he thought it well worthy the attention of the noble lord to make every effort, and institute ever experiment with a view to eradicate that disorder. Would to God that it were eradicated, but melancholy and convincing proofs to the contrary were too easily discovered! The hon. and learned gentleman who opened this debate had laid two grounds in support of his motion: first, that the disease was already eradicated; secondly, that the new institution was putting the country to an unnecessary expense. As to the first, no one would rejoice at such a consummation more than himself; but it was a truth not to be disguised, that cases of the existence of ophthalmia were of every day's occurrence, not only among the military, but in civil life—and it behoved the House to guard itself from being led astray by such a delusion. With respect to the expense, he thought 1,500l. a year, the estimated charge of the new establishment, very properly laid out, even on an experiment for the eradication of ophthalmia. The hon. and learned gentleman who had spoken last, had made a most invidious statement as to the implied superiority of sir W. Adams over the medical officers of the army. He was ready to acknowledge that they were a class of men who had performed distinguished services to the nation, and to whom it was very deeply indebted; but, on the other hand, he thought that if the noble lord (Palmerston) had discovered, or thought he had discovered, any thing attended with greater success in the mode of treatment observed by the gentleman he had mentioned (a gentleman the most celebrated as an oculist, and of whose astonishing success and wonderful cures every member who heard him must have known instances), he was fully justified in availing himself of his assistance. It appeared that previous to his employment at the head of the institu- tion, patients had been placed under his care who had already been treated in vain by the army surgeons. He had produced many cases from these where a total cure, or material benefit, was effected by his practice; and this made a very strong case in his favour [Hear]. He wished sir W. Adams to have a fair and full trial, and if his practice should realise the hopes entertained in founding the institution, it would be more than an ample return for all the charge incurred. Such expense was indeed quite insignificant when put in competition with the object it was meant to accomplish. The noble lord, in his opinion, was right in refusing the papers. He was always ready to support any motion for inquiry upon proper grounds, but he could not consent to load the table of that House with voluminous documents containing ex parte statements, all indeed presenting the mere effusions of professional jealousy or private pique against the character and conduct of an individual. On the whole, he conceived that the grounds taken by his hon. friends near him did not bear them out in the remarks which they had offered on the motion, which they pressed.

Mr. Barham

thought the noble lord fully justified in withholding his consent for the production of the papers, and that for two reasons; first, because they were not necessary to enable members to form an opinion on the merits of the new institution, as, if the hon. gentlemen who supported the motion had taken the trouble to make inquiries, they would have found that there were other documents easily obtained, which were fully sufficient for that purpose, without having recourse to any others; and, secondly, because the papers moved for were not fit to be produced, and would be of little use, unless the House were prepared to go into the whole of the contest. His hon. and learned friend, the mover, had been misinformed if he thought that the ophthalmia had totally disappeared in this country; for but two years ago thousands of our soldiers were labouring under it—and at this moment the country was paying pensions to 5,000 persons totally blind from its effects, the aggregate of those pensions amounting to 92,000l. The question was, would the good likely to be effected by the institution overbalance the expense of supporting it? To consider, this, by a reference to facts, what was-the good done by it in the last thirteen months? He held in his hand the first annual medical report of the cases treated in the ophthalmic institution, York hospital, from which it appeared, that a number of soldiers who had been pronounced incurable by army medical officers, and therefore allowed pensions, were completely cured and restored to perfect vision under the skilful care of sir W. Adams. Such were the results of the establishment in the last year! The total expense of the hospital, independently of the charge of building and other items, which ought not properly to be included, was not more than 331l. during the same space of time; so that making a calculation on die number cured last year, it appeared, the average expense of restoring a blind man to sight was only 4l. 10s. [Hear], The generosity of the country would not take away the pensions already granted; but if in future only two soldiers were to be restored to sight annually, this institution (putting all considerations of national gratitude and humanity to the defenders of her rights and liberties out of the question for the present) would actually effect a saving to the nation. The pension allowed a blind man was 20l. a year; taking the average value of this at twelve years purchase, as many of the pensioners were young men, two such pensions cost the country 480l.; so that if only two patients were saved from blindness every year at the hospital, that would effect an annual retrenchment to the public of above 100l. [Hear]. If the controversial papers between the two parties were laid on the table, probably the House would be less able to form a correct estimate of the merits of the institution than before. Unquestionably, so much heat, violence, and injustice, arising out of professional jealousy, had mixed itself with the subject under consideration, that if the House were to examine what had been written, they would, be both grieved and surprised; and he did not wish to inflict on himself the disgusting task of disentangling the truth from such a weight of partiality and prejudice. Sir W. Adams had, in the outset, made a very fair proposition to the army surgeons: he had said "give me some of those patients whom you have given up as incurable, and let me try what I can do with them." This was rejected, and he was obliged to apply to the commander in chief. After encountering an infinity of trouble and opposition, his proposal was at length acceded to—several men were taken from the depot at Bognor, where they had been undergoing treatment by the medical officers without deriving any sort of benefit, and transferred to the care of sir W. Adams. Of these some had no eyes to admit of cure; but of the rest, a large proportion were either perfectly cured, or materially benefited, and were now walking about, and attending to their business [Hear]. He had himself performed the very useless duty (a laugh; of visiting the ophthalmic institution at York hospital; he had gone there with his noble friend behind (lord Ebrington) very recently, and he could assure the House, that never had he derived a more pure gratification from any spectacle. He had found fifty or sixty patients there; on asking them what their state was when they came to the hospital, he was informed by some of them that they could scarcely distinguish light from darkness, and by most of them that they had been led up by a guide. And to his inquiries respecting their then state of vision, they replied, that they could walk without a guide, or work at their trades, or read [Hear]. "How long," continued Mr. 13arha:n, "had you been afflicted with disorders in the eyes?" The answer was "eight, nine, nay, eighteen years" "Had you undergone medical treatment before?" "Oh yes" [Hear]. He therefore besought gentlemen who doubted of the utility of the hospital, to go and. judge of its effects with their own eyes. Something had been said by one hon. and learned gentleman about secresy in sir W. Adams's practice. He did not know what could have given rise to such an opinion, because, in point of fact, from first to last, that gentleman had offered to disclose all his discoveries and improvements to the profession at large; discoveries and improvements, he must insist, he had made; for if the army surgeons had possessed as much skill, why, he asked, had they not cured those pensioners who were now recovering under the care of sir W. Adams? He should not trouble the House any farther except to observe, that he thought the noble lord (Palmerston) deserved the greatest credit for resisting the cabal raised by a body of men against a meritorious individual.

Lord Ebrington

said, he wished to take that opportunity of declaring what came within his own knowledge and observation concerning the institution under the superintendence of sir W. Adams. He should not do justice to his own feelings did he not express in his place his decided conviction of its merits. The gentleman at the head of it he had not known, indeed he had never seen, till within the last few days. He thought the noble lord (Palmerston) also entitled to praise for the laudable perseverance he had displayed, in supporting so humane and well-conducted an establishment, in opposition to the prejudices that were endeavoured to be excited against it. In consequence of a report of the cases treated in the institution having been put into his hands, he had resolved on convincing himself of its effects by ocular evidence; and never had any sight afforded him greater pleasure and satisfaction. He saw a variety of patients, some totally blind, many incapable of distinguishing light from darkness when they had been admitted, and having nearly all been led up.—advancing in different degrees to a recovery—enabled by sir W. Adams's treatment to walk about alone, to perceive objects distinctly, or even to read very small print [Hear]. Under these circumstances, though he should be the last person there to resist putting the House in possession of useful information, or to screen any ministerial abuse; he could not vote for the production of the reports of the medical board (of whom he wished to speak with respect) because he did not think the House would gain much knowledge by examining the opinions of men, who, it was known, had opposed the commencement and progress of the ophthalmic institution throughout.

Lord Castlereagh

thought the hon. and learned gentleman who brought forward this motion, sought to lead the House of Commons out of its peculiar province, which was the exertion of a due vigilance on the expenditure of public money into an interference with the executive in the exercise of one of its prerogatives, namely, the appointment of officers in a military department. He might as well propose at once, that the House should take the control of all military appointments. But he (lord C.) thought the good sense of the House would hardly allow them to adopt such a principle. But it was obvious, from the sentiments of gentlemen on the opposite side of the House, that this was a question not very generally thought fit for discussion. Two hon. and learned gentlemen were strenuous for the production of documents, and disposed to resist the establishment in question, while two other gentlemen, usually in the habit of voting with them, were of a different opinion, and highly approved the institution, and bore testimony to its utility. He had no doubt, therefore, that? the House would see the propriety of supporting his noble friend.

Mr. J. P. Grant

said, he had merely proposed investigation upon a subject on which he could obtain no authentic information by any other mode. The institution was mentioned amongst other incidental charges in the army estimates, stated altogether at a sum of 9,000l. He, therefore, felt it necessary to inquire what part of this charge was appropriated to the ophthalmic institution. He disclaimed any motive of partiality for or against sir W. Adams, or in favour of the gentleman at the head of the military medical board, Dr. M'Gregor, whom he now understood to be his countryman; but he thought the noble lord should have named the author of the letter he had produced, and sincerely hoped, whoever was the author, that he should no longer be attached to his Majesty's service, of which, whoever he was, he had proved himself wholly unworthy.

The motion was negatived without any call for a division.

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