HC Deb 28 February 1889 vol 333 cc573-4
MR. MAC NEILL (Donegal, S.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War how many Boards and Committees have during the past five years investigated the sanitary condition of the Royal Barracks, Dublin; what has been the cost of these investigations; what, if any, of the measures recommended by these Boards of Inquiry have been adopted; whether his attention has been directed to a letter in the Times, over the signature "A Field Officer," in which the writer says that he had been a member of a Board investigating the condition of the Royal Barracks, and that it was found that the ground was saturated with poisonous matter; would he have any objection to lay upon the Table of the House this Report; and whether he would have any objection to lay upon the Table of the House a Return, showing the regiments that have been quartered in the Royal Barracks, Dublin, during the past five years, and the number of each regiment including women and children, and the number of deaths in each regiment including women and children during the period of its sojourn in the Royal Barracks?


I have already said that the first Report of Mr. Rogers-Field on the Drainage of the Royal Barracks will be laid on the Table immediately. I understand that it will contain an account of the recommendations made by previous Boards, and the extent to which they have been adopted. This will meet the request contained in the first portion of the Question of the hon. Member for Donegal. I am not able to trace the Report to which reference has been made by the writer in the Times newspaper. The average number of troops quartered in the Royal Barracks, in addition to women and children, during the last five years has been 1,565; and the average yearly number of deaths from all causes, a little over 15, giving a death ratio of 9.18, as against 6.93, the ratio for home service generally.


The right hon. Gentleman has not answered the end of my Question. I want to know what the cost of these investigations has been?


In regard to the cost, I am afraid I can only tell the hon. Member that one of the investigations cost 100 guineas. I am not yet able to estimate the cost of the one now taking place.