HC Deb 20 December 1888 vol 332 cc874-5
VISCOUNT WOLMER (Hants,) Petersfield

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether he can make arrangements to send no fresh troops to the Royal Barracks, Dublin, until these barracks have been declared to be in a sanitary condition by the eminent sanitary engineer whom he has commissioned to inspect and report upon them?

THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. E. STANHOPE) (Lincolnshire, Horncastle)

Unless military reasons should imperatively demand it, no fresh troops will be moved, for the present, into the Royal Barracks, Dublin. I cannot pledge myself further than this.

MR. ISAACS (Newington, Walworth)

Will the right hon. Gentleman cause an inquiry to be made, by an independent authority, as to the effect upon the health of the troops, and of the inhabitants of Dublin generally, in the discharge of the sewage of the city into the River Liffey, and the present state of that river?


That is an inquiry which I think would be going rather beyond the scope of the War Office; but it is one of very grave importance, and I do not wonder that my hon. Friend has called attention to the matter. I should be exceedingly glad if a more general inquiry could take place into the whole of that subject.


Would the right hon. Gentleman recommend to his Colleagues on the Treasury Bench the propriety of the Government facilitating the efforts of the Corporation to improve the health of the City of Dublin by granting them a loan on easy terms of State money?

[No reply.]


Will the right hon. Gentleman give a Return of the number of officers and men who, during the last 10 years, have died of typhoid fever contracted in these barracks; and will he also lay before the House the confidential Reports of Commanding Officers on their unhealthy state?


I think a Return very much of the character asked for was laid before the House of Lords last year; but I will look into it, and if it does not give the figures I shall be very glad to give them. With regard to the confidential Reports of Commanding Officers, I imagine it would be un-usual to lay them upon the Table of the House; but any information that I can fairly give shall certainly be given.

DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid)

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether his attention has been directed to the alleged unsanitary condition of the Royal Barracks, Dublin; whether it is a fact that an officer of the Black Watch last week, and Lieutenant Colonel Coddington, R.E., this week, died in these barracks of typhoid fever; and, whether steps will be immediately taken to remedy the terrible unhealthy condition of these military barracks?


Lieutenant Colonel Coddington's death did not occur at, or in connection with, the Royal Barracks, but at Mountjoy Barracks, in the Phoenix Park, which is rather the head-quarters of the Ordnance Survey than a barracks in the strict sense. As regards the general question of the Royal Barracks, I can only refer the hon. Member to the answers I have already given in this House, from which he will see that every effort is being made to track out the sources of disease, and to remove, as far as possible, all causes which have contributed to bring about the mortality we all so greatly deplore.

In reply to further Questions,


said, it was perfectly true that two Commissioners had presented adverse Reports upon the sanitary condition of the Royal Barracks; and, as he had previously stated, their recommendations, in the main, had been carried out. He was not quite sure whether the officer who, unfortunately, died a short time ago belonged to the Black Watch or not. [Several MEMBERS: Yes.] It had not come to his knowledge that the Commanding Officer of a regiment at the Curragh had refused to move his corps into the Royal Barracks because of their unsanitary condition.