HC Deb 04 May 1871 vol 206 c150

asked the Under Secretary of State for India, Whether he can give any information to the House of the extent to which, and the principles on which, the hill climates of India are being utilized for European Troops; and, if not, whether he will institute an inquiry in order to obtain such information?


Sir, the best answer I can give to the noble Lord's Question will, I think, be to read an extract from a speech delivered by General Norman in the Legislative Council, who said, on the 24th of March, 1871— The stations with least mortality in the plains were Muttra, where the deaths were only at the rate of 5½ per 1,000; Shahjehanpore, 6½; Seetapore, 7½; Roorkee, 9½; and Fort William, 12½; as compared with the hundred per thousand of former days. Excluding small detachments, the deaths were highest at Jubbulpore, where they amounted to 40 per 1,000; Peshawur, 33 per 1,000; and Morar, 32 per 1,000. At the hill stations the deaths averaged 11 per 1,000; and at the Hill Convalescent Depôts, composed of men who had suffered from sickness, 22½ per 1,000. The Government is fully sensible of the advantage of having troops in the hills, and two admirable hill stations are being pushed on to completion—those of Chukrata and Raneekhet; but it is not intended to give up important strategic points, or to remove men from good barracks in healthy stations in the plains, though even from these convalescents and working parties may go to the hills annually. The employment of working parties has been most successful in every respect; and during the last hot season no less than 1,170 men were employed, to the benefit of their health and general efficiency, and also to great public advantage in other ways. During the coming hot season we hope to have a total of 6,438 men in the hills in this Presidency, and a large number of the remainder will be well-housed at healthy stations in the plains.