§ MR. VERNER
asked the Secretary for War, If he would explain to the House why a number of families of Sappers were left at Bermuda in April 1873, when the men were sent to Gibraltar and Malta in the troop-ship "Tamar;" what number of these families were left; were not the families afterwards sent by mail steamer viâ Halifax, at great expense to England, instead of to the Mediterranean; what was the expense incurred; and, whether when companies of Sappers are moved in future from Bermuda to other stations, any of the families will be separated from the husbands and fathers; and, if so, what will be done with them?
MR. GATHORNE HAEDY
, in reply, said, that the reason why the families in question were left at Bermuda was that they were not on the married establishment. Some of them had gone to Bermuda on their own account, and some had been taken through the kindness of the commander of one of the transports, and it was not usual to treat them in the same way as those who were on the married establishment. The numbers of the families in question were 26 women and 46 children. With regard to the third part of the Question, the condition of the regulations was, that persons in a similar position might be sent at the public expense, provided they immediately went to their homes, and it was not usual to send to the quarters where the troops were going as they were not in the establishment. The expense incurred on this occasion was £415 14s. 6d. With regard to the last part of the Question, the families would not be so separated if it were possible to avoid it. Should there not be room on the transport those who were on the married establishment would receive subsistence money, and the others would be treated in the same manner as the women and children were in this case.