HC Deb 29 June 1900 vol 85 cc66-7
SIR HENRY FOWLER (Wolverhampton, E.)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether, in October last, he received a letter from the hon. Member for Ilkeston pointing out that in all probability great loss of life from fever and other maladies more or less preventible by careful sanitary work was likely to occur in the South African campaign, and suggesting the appointment of a small sanitary commission, or a commissioner and assistants, to proceed to Smith Africa to assist the Army medical officers in preventing the dangers referred to; whether the hon. Member offered to place his services and his experience as a physician and as secretary of the Local Government Board during the last invasion of cholera at the disposal of the War Office in an unpaid capacity; and whether the suggestion and offer were declined by the Secretary of State on the ground that the need of special assistance was not the same in sanitary matters as in surgical operations.


Yes, Sir. The facts are as stated. Army surgeons are not in constant practice as operators; and therefore the Secretary of State was very glad to avail himself of the patriotic offers made by Sir W. MacCormac, Mr. Troves, and other specially skilled surgeons. But Army medical officers have special training in sanitation of camps and the management of diseases incidental to field service, and abundant opportunities of obtaining experience in these matters. It did not, therefore, appear that there was any occasion for the appointment of such a sanitary commission as the hon. Member suggested.