§ SIR EDWARD WATKIN
asked the Secretary of State for War, What is the position of the case of Gunner Charlton; 875 and, whether it will be now necessary to provide by public subscription, in place of Government aid, some relief to this soldier, permanently disabled owing to barbarous treatment?
MR. GATHORNE HARDY,
in reply, said, that he must take some exception to the terms which were used in the latter part of the Question, because he could not admit that the soldier received barbarous treatment. He no doubt sufferred materially; but he really thought that it was a strong measure, and a thing not at all called for, to charge those who had the charge of him in Millbank Prison with barbarous treatment. He had been, no doubt, in hospital ever since, and maintained at the public expense; and according to law, as the hon. Member for Hythe had been informed by the right hon. Gentleman the Paymaster of the Forces, it was not possible to pension a man until he had been absolutely discharged. Gunner Charlton had not been discharged. He still remained in hospital, and though he was recovering fast, a pension could not be allotted to him before he was released. In addition to that, it was required that the new Pension Warrant should come into force in order to enable him to be pensioned at all. So far as the War Department was concerned, this man had long been out of their hands. He had, however, recommended his case to the Commissioners of Chelsea Hospital, who would, he believed, be prepared to deal with it. There was no stoppage on the part of the Treasury.
§ SIR EDWARD WATKIN
inquired, whether it was not the fact that the Treasury Minute enabling this case to be dealt with had been for some time passed?
MR. GATHORNE HARDY
said, that was perfectly correct. The Warrant in a certain shape was passed by the Treasury; but since that time a question had arisen as to a technical point, with reference to some non-commissioned officers, and that had caused a little delay, but it did not affect the man Charlton, who could not be pensioned until he was removed from the hospital.