HC Deb 05 February 1856 vol 140 cc220-1

Sir, I gave the noble Lord at the head of the Government notice yesterday that I would ask him a question this evening with respect to the mortality in the army of the Crimea. I will put the question now, in order to save the necessity of obtaining an order of the House. It has reference to a passage at page 35 in the Report of the Commissioners respecting supplies to the army in the Crimea, and it is, whether any information that may have been obtained by the Commissioners through the returns from the medical officers, or otherwise, will be laid upon the table of this House, as it is important to ascertain the cause of so frightful a mortality as 35 per cent, which cannot be done without knowing the particular diseases and the cause of death. If the noble Lord will lay those papers on the table of the House, I hope it may be done without delay, so that we may have the advantage of them in any discussion which may take place upon the subject.


I am much obliged to my hon. and gallant Friend for having given me notice of this question. The fact is, that the Commissioners had no instructions whatever to collect the statistical information to which he has referred. Colonel Tulloch, one of the Commissioners, who is a great man for statistics, did collect this information, but it did not form any part of the Report. It was transmitted separately, and as a confidential communication, to the War Department, and by them communicated to the Medical Department of the army for their guidance, in order that such casualties might for the future be avoided; but it does not appear to me that it would be advisable to have that information laid before the public. It will be acted upon by the Medical Department, and I trust the House will be satisfied by knowing that the statistical information thus collected will receive due attention in the proper quarters.