§ MR. CUNNINGHAME GRAHAM (Lanark, N.W.)
asked the Under Secretary of State for India, If he will be pleased to inform the House how many operations, of what nature, on what dates, and by what surgeons performed, has Captain Chatterton been compelled to suffer since his forcible removal from hospital treatment on or about April 28, 1869, owing to the delay in carrying into effect the orders of a Medical Board assembled on September 5, 1868, and whether he is aware that, in consequence, that officer is now hopelessly maimed for life; what was the exact wording of the recorded opinion of the Court of Inquiry, held at Fort William, under the presidency of the late Colonel Roger Palmer, 60th Rifles, in September, 1868; and will he explain how, after such opinion, and the evidence in writing of Surgeon Majors and Surgeons Condon, Perkett, Lowdell, Walsh, Baillie, and Lee, the charge or Report of January 5, 1869, saying— 199Lieutenant J. B. Chatterton has reported himself unfit for duty whilst 'medical opinion' is against him,was ever promulgated without any evidence in support; and whether this Report was revoked by the treatment of this officer at the hospital, Fort William, by Presidency Surgeons Brougham and Baillie, and Garrison Surgeon Powell, in accordance with the orders of the said Medical Board under the orders of the Commander-in-Chief and the Generals of Division in March and April, 1869; how many operations had this officer undergone, and of what nature, previous to his return to India in August, 1867, and why were "secret orders" conveyed first to the Medical Board at Nynee Tal on September 5, 1868, and subsequently, on the refusal to accept them, to Deputy Inspector General Saunders at Calcutta, September 20, 1868—namely, "Not to pass Lieutenant Chatterton unless absolutely indispensable," and by whom, and through whom, were these "secret orders" issued; will he inform the House, in view of the provisions of 21 & 22 Vict. c. 106, s. 56, by what authority, as sworn in the affidavits dated November 22, 1882, and June 3, 1887, an Order was issued by the then Secretary of State to remove this officer summarily from the Army without trial; whether any representation was made to Her Majesty the Queen, or whether the then Secretary of State used such power of himself, in issuing the Order of March 11, 1869, to take effect on and after its arrival in India, which was executed at the hospital, Fort William, on April 28, 1869; whether the Secretary of State in Council is now prepared to rescind such Order, and to compensate Captain Chatterton for the physical injuries and injuries to his professional reputation; and, whether this officer is entitled to the pension of his rank for permanent injuries equivalent to the loss of a limb?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE (Sir JOHN GORST) (Chatham)
For a general answer to these Questions I will refer the hon. Member to two full statements by the Secretary of State for India in the House of Commons in 1881 and 1882, and to a statement by the Under Secretary of State for India in 1882 (Hansard, vol. 261, page 800; vol. 267, page 886; and vol. 270, page 200 1395). The brief categorical answers to the hon. Member's Questions are—1. Captain Chatterton was not forcibly removed from hospital; and there is no information as to the subsequent operations which he underwent, except his own statements. 2. The exact words of the Court of Inquiry were—The Court of Inquiry, having attentively considered the evidence produced for their information, are of opinion that Lieutenant B. J. Chatterton, Bengal Staff Corps, was fit for duty on the 21st of September, 1868; that he disobeyed the orders of the Brigadier General commanding at Fort William in not mounting guard on that day; and although he took steps to provide a substitute, he neglected to ascertain that his exchange of duty had been sanctioned. It is also the opinion of the Court, from the evidence given by Captains Birch and Anderson, that Lieutenant Chatterton had no intention of mounting guard on the day in question.The finding was based on the evidence of the responsible medical officers. I do not know the number of the operations undergone by this officer previous to his return to India in August, 1867. No secret orders of any kind were issued with respect to Captain Chatterton. The Order for his removal was issued by the authority of the Secretary of State in due course on the recommendation of the Government of India, and was notified in due form in General Orders. The Secretary of State in Council is not now prepared to rescind such Order, and to compensate Captain Chatterton for the physical injuries and injuries to his professional reputation. This officer is not entitled to the pension of his rank for permament injuries equivalent to the loss of a limb.