HC Deb 26 July 1883 vol 282 cc529-30

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether his attention has been directed to the large percentage of sick in the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, at present quartered at Ramleh, which has 116 out of 802 on the sick list; and, whether it is intended to move the regiment to more healthy quarters?


asked, whether there had been any further outbreak of cholera among the troops in Egypt since the information obtained on Tuesday last; and, what regiments were still quartered in Cairo?


Sir, the latest Return from the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry showed 120 sick out of a strength of 784, or 15.3 per cent. One-fourth of the sick at Ramleh were venereal cases, and there had been some increase of febrile diseases, dysentery, and diarrhœa. The question of moving regiments in Egypt, and the selection of quarters, can only be decided by the General commanding there, on the advice of his principal medical officer. They only can have full cognizance of all the circumstances of the case, and I have every reason to have perfect confidence in their discrimination and judgment in the matter. With reference to the Question of the noble Lord the Member for West Essex (Lord Eustace Cecil), there is another Question upon the Paper by the noble Viscount the Member for South Wilts (Viscount Folkestone); and, in reply to both the noble Lords' Questions, I have to say that all the information is contained in the telegrams on the subject received from the General commanding in Egypt, which are immediately communicated to the newspapers. The telegrams are not quite clear; but, so far as I understand them, there has been up to yesterday 14 cases, of which, I regret to say, 11 have proved fatal. I have not to-day received any later Return than that published, and I could not undertake, without Notice, to state what regiments are stationed at Cairo: but I believe there are only seven companies in the Citadel, and a small force is quartered on a hill in the neighbourhood. All the remaining troops which were in Cairo, I believe, have been removed to healthier quarters in camps in the vicinity.


asked whether, instead of publishing the mere bald Returns of the number of deaths among the British troops in Egypt, steps would be taken to remove the anxieties of the friends of those Irish soldiers who were in Egypt by publishing the names of those who had died of cholera? Members on that side of the House had received several communications on the subject from Ireland.


Sir, the hon. Member for Glasgow (Dr. Cameron) has a similar Question upon the Paper. I have arranged that a nominal Return of those soldiers who may die of cholera in Egypt shall be published.