HC Deb 06 August 1879 vol 249 cc288-9

asked the Secretary of State for War, considering that as we are informed the success of our movements in Afghanistan was complete, Whether there was any, and, if so, what urgent necessity for the withdrawal of the troops from their advanced posts during the hot season with the result, during the return march, of a loss by cholera fourfold that of the whole campaign?


Sir, the troops could not have been left for the hot weather in tents in the Cabul Valley, where cholera had already appeared, without incurring the imminent risk of far greater loss than that which they unfortunately sustained. It was highly undesirable to keep the troops exposed in tents a day longer than the military and political requirements necessitated, instead of moving them back into their cantonments with all the sanitary advantages to be found there. As regards the actual loss sustained, although we know that it was considerably exaggerated in some quarters, we have not yet received any official information as to what it really was.