HC Deb 10 December 1900 vol 88 cc342-3
MR. WEIR (Ross and Cromarty)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that the cavalry barracks at Piershill, Jock's Lodge, near Edinburgh, are so constructed that the men have to sleep in lofts over the stables, which are only separated from the stables by old floor boards,, the result being that the effluvia rising from the stables flows into the men's sleeping apartment; is he aware that on the east side of the barracks there are only two baths for the use of the 400 men quartered in the barracks, and that the cistern for supplying each bath is capable of holding only sufficient water to-fill the bath twice; that the two baths on the other side of the barracks have been out of order and unfit for use for upwards of a year, and that the punishment for men not taking a bath is three days' confinement in barracks; and will he say who is responsible for this housing of our soldiers, and whether steps will be taken to render the barracks fit for human beings.


No, Sir. The statements made in the question are not accurate. The men's rooms are not lofts, but regular upper storeys with sound floors and ceilings between them and the stables, which, the general officer commanding states, keeps the stable effluvia from the rooms. There are not only the two baths on the east side of the barracks, supplying hot and cold water, but six baths on the west side, similarly supplying hot and cold water. Over £2,000 has been spent on these barracks in the last two years, which are now reported as being in a thoroughly sanitary condition.

DR. FARQUHARSON (Aberdeenshire, E.)

Has the inquiry into the condition of the buildings promised last session yet been held?


Yes, Sir; it was held soon after the promise was given.


In consequence of the unsatisfactory nature of the right hon. Gentleman's reply, I beg to give notice that I shall take the earliest opportunity of calling attention to the state of these barracks.