HC Deb 20 May 1890 vol 344 cc1410-1
MR. CONYBEARE (Cornwall, Camborne)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether the Second Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers was, on its return from Burma in 1887, sent to Lucknow instead of to a hill station, although it had suffered severely from the effects of the climate in Burma; if he can explain why it was that, although this corps was very sickly during the autumn of 1887 at Lucknow, and that the Local Medical Authorities strongly advised that it should be sent to a hill station in the spring of 1888, no notice was taken of this recommendation; whether during the trooping season of 1888–9 more men were invalided from this corps than from all the other troops then at Lucknow, consisting of two regiments of infantry, one of cavalry, and two battalions of Royal Artillery; will he lay upon the Table the Reports of the medical officers at Lucknow; and whether the corps is now at Peshawur, or under orders for that station, which is notoriously a sickly station?


The statements contained in the question are substantially correct, except that the battalion is the 1st and not the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. The 2nd Battalion is much more happily circumstanced. It is at present quartered in Galway. The Secretary of State is not aware of the reasons why the recommendation of the Local Medical Authorities was not attended to. Such matters are, I believe, in the discretion of the Commander-in-Chief.


Will the right hon. Gentleman ascertain if it was the fact that the Commander-in-Chief did communicate with the Medical Authorities and was in favour of their recommendation, but that afterwards that recommendation was set aside on representations which were made by other authorities? If that is so, I would also ask what is the use of having Medical Officers at all?


I do not know what the hon. Gentleman alludes to. I may, however, say that no recommendation from the Commander-in-Chief has been set aside by any orders from home.


I did not moan that. What I meant to say was that the Commander-in-Chief was in favour of the recommendation of the Medical Authorities, but that his decision was reversed in consequence of representations made from another quarter.


Inquiry shall be made.