§ SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL (Kirkcaldy, &c.)
asked the Under Secretary of State for India, Whether there has been, and is, very excessive sickness among the Troops at Quetta; whether, before constructing the Railways to the Quetta District, Her Majesty's Government took steps to satisfy themselves that the climate of the Country at and about Quetta was favourable for the location of European and Native Troops, and with what result; whether, for barracks and offices, large sums have been spent at Quetta, which now proves to be unhealthy; whether there is any reason to suppose that healthy sites may be found; and, what is now proposed to be done?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE (Sir JOHN GORST) (Chatham)
Sir, during the 10 years, 1874 to 1883, there was no excessive sickness at Quetta; but in 1884, which was a year of abnormal sickness throughout India, there was. The Returns for 1885 have not yet been received. Her Majesty's Government occupied Quetta and made the railways on political rather than, sanitary grounds. Quetta had already been occupied in the first Afghan War, and no special inquiry into the climate was therefore necessary. Large sums have been spent at Quetta on barracks and offices. In consequence of the abnormal sickness of 1884, the Bombay Sanitary Commissioner was sent to visit Quetta in 1885. This Report is now under the consideration of the Government of India, and until it is received at the India Office, I am unable to answer the further Questions.