HC Deb 18 March 1870 vol 200 cc205-6

said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for War, Whether it is considered desirable to retain the appointment of Assistant Professors at the Army Medical School at Netley; whether the Officers employed at the Army Medical Board are appointed for five years, in accordance with the regulations for Staff employment in the Army; what are the particular duties performed by Staff Surgeon Fitzgerald, of the Army Medical Board, and whether that officer has not been employed there continuously since the termination of the Crimean War, and also been promoted to his present rank while so employed without undertaking any term of Foreign service; and, whether the retention of Staff Surgeon Fitzgerald and other Officers of the Army Medical Board beyond the period of five years, is fair in principle as compared with other Medical Officers of the Army?


Sir, as I stated last year, advantage was taken of the circumstance of there being no new pupils at the Army Medical School at Netley to bring down a number of older medical officers who had returned from India and the Colonies, without having had the advantage of being trained at Netley. This has been found very advantageous. It was thought expedient to reduce the number of Staff assistant surgeons instead of the assistant professors, and to allow the latter to discharge the duties previously discharged by the Staff assistant surgeons. There are four assistant professors; three assistant surgeons have been reduced. The officers employed at the Board are not appointed for five years. The Director General is appointed for seven years, the others for no definite period. Staff Surgeon Fitzgerald is employed in the control of medical supplies and the examination of medical accounts. It has not been thought expedient that the controller of these supplies and accounts should be changed every five years. Dr. Fitzgerald was at the Medical Department in 1859, in which year he was promoted on the ground of seniority. These regulations have been laid down by my predecessors, on the ground not of fairness to the parties, but of efficiency in the service.