HC Deb 22 April 1901 vol 92 cc900-1

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he can state the number of civilians, exclusive of doctors and natives, employed in the private, field, and stationary hospitals during the course of the war; and seeing that many of these men threw up lucrative positions in order to volunteer for service, that the pay they received was by no means equal to what they were previously earning at home, and that some of them have not been reinstated in the positions they occupied before the war, he will reconsider his determination not to allow these men the same war gratuity that is to be awarded to the men of the Royal Army Medical Corps, who performed exactly similar work.


About 860 civilians exclusive of doctors and nurses, were employed in the private hospitals, including the hospital ships "Princess of Wales" and "Maine"; these were not paid from Government funds. About 1,600 men of the St John Ambulance Brigade were employed by Government under a civil contract; and as part of their remuneration they receive a gratuity equal to, or in case of those re-engaged, exceeding the war gratuity received by the men of the Royal Army Medical Corps. Only civilians who have enlisted into one of the local medical corps in South Africa are entitled to the war gratuity. The House will understand that it is not feasible to grant the war gratuity to men serving on civil engagements. Such a course would expose the Government to endless claims on the part of civilians employed on other semi-military service during the campaign.