HC Deb 08 January 1894 vol 20 cc1022-3
SIR A. ACLAND-HOOD (Somerset, Wellington)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War if it is intended to send the 2nd Battalion Somerset Light Infantry, on their arrival in England from India in February, to be quartered in the Plymouth Forts; and whether there are troops now in garrison at Plymouth which are available for duty at the forts?


The allocation of troops within a command rests entirely with the General Officer commanding. I believe that it is usual to place the last arrived battalion in the forts; but there are three other battalions available for service in them if required.


Arising out of the answer, and in view of the verdict of the coroner's jury on the deaths that took place at Portsmouth on the 23rd November last, as to which a question was asked at the time by one of my hon. and gallant Friends, may I ask for some guarantee that the troops just returned from hot climates will not be quartered during the winter in cold and exposed barracks?


I have consulted officers who have themselves served in these forts, and they say that there is no excessive cold in these quarters. There is a considerable amount of wet weather, but they are not very cold. The melancholy event at Portsmouth was due to really exceptional causes.