HC Deb 14 June 1898 vol 59 cc216-7
CAPTAIN NORTON (Islington, W.)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether it has been brought to his notice that one of the causes of the large number of old soldiers now to be found in workhouse infirmaries is due to the fact that, until quite recently, convalescent soldiers discharged from military hospitals had either to reside with their relatives or to return to full duty, with the result that they were not infrequently speedily back in hospital again; and that soldiers dying from incurable diseases, had, perforce, to leave the hospitals; and whether he will consider the advisability of establishing convalescent homes where soldiers might be sent from the military hospitals, seeing that in the long run considerable economy will be effected and the efficiency of the Army increased?


The Secretary of State is not prepared to admit the premises in the honourable Member's question. In certain cases sick soldiers are granted sick furlough for the purpose of residing with their friends when it is thought that the change will do them good; but otherwise they remain in hospital till cured. Soldiers suffering from incurable diseases are not discharged from hospital unless it be at their own request, or at the desire of their friends. There are convalescent hospitals at several stations in India; also at Malta, Ceylon, Hong-kong, and Cyprus; while at home there is one at Eastbourne to which patients may be sent whose convalescence is not fully established.