§ MR. SCHWANN (Manchester, N.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been directed to Army Order (No. 252, Pretoria), published on 24th December last in South Africa, which stated that all Volunteers on completing twelve months service in the Service could return to England if they so desired; whether he is aware that the Medical Service Volunteers, both bearers and members of the medical staff, of the Manchester Volunteers at the No. 10 General Hospital, Norvals Pont, applied to be sent home, and were told they were enlisted soldiers by the Adjutant General, and could not return before the termination of the war; whether this is a true description of the Volunteer Medical Corps; whether he is aware that, whilst the enteric epidemic prevailed at Bloemfontein, the majority of the hospital staffs of all ranks were Volunteers; and whether he will take steps to give them relief equal to that afforded to combatant Volunteers, seeing that they have had more than twelve months of work day and night amongst wounds and disease.
§ MR. BRODRICK
I am aware of the Order mentioned, but I am not aware what particular corps applied. As I stated last week, arrangements are being made for the relief of the Medical Service Volunteers, and I will ascertain from Lord Kitchener at what date approximately he will be able to spare them. As to the period when the enteric epidemic 741 was prevalent at Bloemfontein, the figures in the Returns show that while the Volunteers were not actually in a majority, they were not far short of the Regulars.