HC Deb 18 July 1856 vol 143 cc1037-8

said, he wished to put a question to the hon. Under Secretary for War, respecting the dismissal of the acting assisting surgeons of the army. He had received numerous communications from those gentlemen complaining that they were about to be dismissed with two months' pay, while the surgeons in the Turkish Contingent and other corps were to receive twelve months' pay. Inducements had been held out to those gentlemen at the beginning of the war to enter the army; they had laboured with the greatest skill and diligence—sometimes under the guns of the enemy—dressing the wounds of the soldiers; and now they were to be sent to the right-about with a miserable gratuity of two months' pay. One gentleman stated that he had been at above £150 expense, and had only received £19 as pay. They were about to present a memorial to Lord Panmure, in which they stated that they had given up a comfortable position and their private practice, and had volunteered to go to any part of the world. Mr. O'Callaghan, a gentleman who had received the thanks of the commanding general, stated that he had regularly taken his turn in the trenches at the siege of Sebastopol, and had been the means of saving several lives at the attack on the Redan.


said, that after what had fallen from his noble Friend at the head of the Government, he need only refer to the questions respecting the reduced officers in the army, and the acting assistant surgeons. With regard to the reduced officers, the regulation in force was that no officer was entitled to full and permanent half-pay unless he had served three years upon full pay. If the officer was not brought again upon full pay, and chose to sever himself from the prospect of being so, he might receive from the Treasury the price he had paid for his commission. As to the acting assistant surgeons, it was distinctly explained to them, that in the event of their not being brought into the list of regular surgeons they would not be entitled to half-pay, and would be discharged with two months' pay. It was on this account that a rate of pay had been given them higher than they would otherwise have been entitled to. He believed it was raised from 10s. to 11s. a day. He could not hold out any promise that it would be in the power of the Government to alter the terms that had been proposed.