HC Deb 25 July 1889 vol 338 cc1253-4

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty if he will make an inquiry into the sanitary condition of the Royal Naval College at Portsmouth, the drainage of which is described in a local paper, as being "as bad as bad can be;" and if he his aware whether the statement is true that the son of a noble Lord who is a High Court Official, is said to have died lately from fever contracted in that College.


A careful inquiry was made in 1886 into the sanitary condition of the Royal Naval College at Portsmouth by a Committee consisting of two Medical Officers and an Officer of the Works Department. They reported as follows:— We have no fault to find with the drainage system, which is as complete as can be made under the existing conditions of the building, And they recommended a certain expenditure to perfect the system which was sanctioned. But the College, in common with the other dockyard buildings, is constructed upon low-lying ground, and the basement floors are within three feet of the subsoil water in the dry season. This is the condition of a large portion of the town of Portsea. The health of those permanently residing in the College, which adjoins the house of the Commander-in-Chief and the Captain of the Excellent, is good. From 1879 to 1883 there is no record of enteric fever. In 1884 and 1886 there was one case in each year, and in 1888 there were three cases. I regret very much the death of the gallant young Officer alluded to. It has been said that he contracted the fever in the College, but there is no actual proof of the allegation.