HC Deb 04 March 1884 vol 285 cc503-4

asked the Under Secretary of State for India, Whether five appointments have just been made to alleged vacancies in the Indian Medical Service, though the gentlemen appointed have no chance of obtaining permanent employment for at least six years to come; and, whether this fact was notified to them before they competed in the examination; and, if not, whether the Indian Government propose to take immediate steps to fulfil the terms of the India Office Memorandum of March 1879, on the position of medical officers appointed to the Indian Army, by which these and other gentlemen have been induced to enter the service?


Sir, five appointments have just been made to the Indian Medical Service. I have explained on several occasions that, in justice to students, and on administrative grounds, it is not advisable entirely to discontinue appointments to this Service. The candidates were not informed that they have no chance of obtaining permanent employment for at least six years, because this is not the fact. Even under the present stagnation, at least 25 such appointments are held by officers of six years' service and under, and this number will rapidly increase with the present limited number of appointments. I wish also to point out that these five gentlemen were appointed under the Memorandum of 1883, which defines more rigidly the terms of the Memorandum of 1879. And, as I pointed out to the hon. Member in May last year, the conditions of the Memorandum of 1879 have been accurately fulfilled. That Memorandum never guaranteed, within any given period, those substantive appointments which alone command the higher rates of pay. I must repeat, therefore, what I said on Thursday last, that no further steps are contemplated.