MR. MAC NEILL (Donegal, S.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether it is a fact that, amongst the soldiers and non-commissioned officers of the Hussars now stationed in the Royal Barracks, Dublin, there have been four cases of typhoid fever last week, and that an officer of the same regiment has been ill since last Saturday from the same disease; can he explain how it happens that our Troops are located in barracks notoriously un- 876 healthy, and why in the Dublin hospitals there is no sick ward for Military officers; and will he take into consideration the propriety of defraying the expenses incidental to the illness of officers who, being struck down in the discharge of their duties and being unable to travel to their homes, are obliged to go to hospital, there being no proper accommodation for illness in barracks?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. E. STANHOPE, Lincolnshire, Horncastle)
I am sorry to say that during the present month there have been three cases of typhoid fever among the men of the Hussars quartered in the Royal Barracks, Dublin, but no officer of the regiment has been reported as ill from the same disease. There is no ward for officers in the Dublin Military Hospitals, for the reasons stated by me in this House on the 25th of June last—namely, that officers are only entitled to treatment in military hospitals when suffering from wounds or from illness contracted in the field. Under these circumstances, I am not prepared to make any general rule for the payment of an officer's expenses while in civil hospital, although I should always be ready to consider any special case of hardship.
§ MR. W. A. MACDONALD (Queen's County, Ossory)
May I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman will not consider the expediency of abandoning these pestilential barracks altogether; and whether the number of troops quartered in Ireland is not larger than there is any necessity for?
§ MR. E. STANHOPE
I quite agree that the number of troops stationed in Ireland is larger than the necessities of the case require. I should prefer to make any further statement about the Royal Barracks, Dublin, when I am called upon to speak about barracks generally.