HC Deb 24 April 1873 vol 215 cc902-3

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether there is any foundation for the statement in the newspapers that immediately on the arrival of the "Serapis" troop ship from Bombay, after a voyage during which small pox, measles, and scarlet fever had prevailed in the ship and caused sixteen deaths, the 2nd battalion Scotch Fusilier Guards was sent in her from Gravesend to Dublin, in disregard of the remonstrance of the surgeon of the regiment, who urged that at least a month should be spent in cleansing, airing, and fumigating the ship?


I am informed, Sir, that as soon as the Serapis arrived, the Quartermaster General, having seen in the newspapers a statement of sickness on board, sent to the Admiralty to know if there was any reason why the Guards should not be allowed to go in her, and heard, in reply, that, in consequence of measles on board, orders had been given thoroughly to disinfect the ship, which had been done, and she had been repainted inside and out. All the bedding was landed, and fresh bedding taken on board. Major Blundell, the commanding officer of the 3rd Hussars, reported personally to the Quartermaster General that they had a most prosperous voyage; that measles had broken out and spread through the families, but generally in a mild form; and that no other contagious or infectious diseases had declared themselves. Nothing is known of any protest of the surgeon of the Scotch Fusilier Guards.