HC Deb 09 April 1877 vol 233 cc767-8

asked the Secretary of State for War, When para- graph 25 of the British Medical Department Code (India), viz.— In order to be qualified for holding an administration appointment in this country" (India) "it is required that an executive medical officer should have served as a surgeon for three years with a European regiment in India, was made general in its application, and in what manner this conversion of a rule believed to be local into a general rule, was made known to the officers affected by it in the general medical service of this country; whether there are any medical administration officers now holding appointments who have not complied with the condition of paragraph 25; and whether this local rule now made general has been published in England with the authority of the Secretary of State for War; and, if so, whether that publication legally sets aside the condition of the Royal Warrant 1876, paragraph 16?


Sir, it was not made general until the issue of the Warrant of 1876, but it must have been perfectly well known throughout the Department, because in 1867 it was necessary to pass over 60 or 70 officers to obtain the requisite number for India who had the qualifying service. With regard to the second part of the Question, there are medical administrative officers now holding appointments who have not complied with the condition of Paragraph 25, for the necessities of India having been supplied, some of the officers who were then passed over, as above stated, were promoted to administrative rank at home and in the Colonies. The effect of this was really unfair, as it gave some men long tropical service, and others an undue amount of home service, and so interfered with the roster; and, therefore, last year I considered it advisable, with the concurrence of His Royal Highness, to establish one system for promotion—namely, by selection, one of the elements of which was the necessity of having three years' Indian service. This does not in the least set aside the conditions of Paragraph 16 of the Royal Warrant of 1876, which lays down ability and merit as qualifications for promotion, as opposed to seniority, but not as excluding other grounds for non-selection—such as ill-health, inability to perform tropical service, &c,