§ SIR WALTER FOSTER (Derby, Ilkeston)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether typhoid fever has been very prevalent amongst officers and men of the British troops in India during the years 1887, 1888, and 1889; whether he can state the number of deaths for each of those years; whether the deaths have been most numerous amongst the young soldiers; and whether any steps are being taken to stop the ravages of this preventable disease?
§ * THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. E. STANHOPE,) Lincolnshire, Horncastle
Typhoid or enteric fever has been very prevalent in India during the last three years, and was specially fatal last year. The deaths from this disease were 247 in the year 1887; 267 in the year 1888; and 429 last year, as to which year however, the figures must be regarded as appropriate only. The deaths have been most numerous among young soldiers. All possible precautions are taken to prevent the insanitary conditions which are believed to induce the disease. Cantonments and barracks in the neighbouring towns and bazaars are strictly 496 supervised, and the purity of the water, milk, and food generally is secured by all means practicable. During the last year a Special Commission investigated the sanitary state of Lucknow and Meerut with particular reference to enteric fever. The liability of young soldiers to this disease is a principal reason for not allowing men under 20 years of age to proceed to India.