HC Deb 10 June 1881 vol 262 cc237-8

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether, in consequence of the serious mortality prevailing amongst the West Indian regi- ments stationed on the Gold Coast, resulting in a great and unnecessary sacrifice of valuable lives, Her Majesty's Government will consider the advisability of abandoning Cape Coast Castle as a military station, and removing the West Coast garrison to St. Helena?


Sir, I need hardly assure the hon. and gallant Gentleman that the troops recently sent to Cape Coast will not have been kept there longer than necessary for the special circumstances of the threatened war, and orders have been already given to reduce the force. But to speak of the mortality there as "a great sacrifice of valuable lives "is a somewhat exaggerated expression. Though there has been much sickness, as is always the case at this time of year, the entire mortality was one European officer and three men of the West India Regiments, according to Colonel Justice's last Report. It would not be possible to abandon Cape Coast Castle altogether as a military station, if the Colony is to be preserved; but Colonel Justice reports that both officers and men quartered in the Castle have been in fairly good health. The sickness has been among the troops quartered outside the Castle in the town.


inquired, whether it was intended to establish a sanatorium on the Gold Coast?


I do not think any Question on the subject has come before me since I have held Office. If, however, the Question is put again, I will endeavour to answer it.