HC Deb 24 June 1903 vol 124 cc382-4
*MR. CROOKS (Woolwich)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he will request the Board of Inquiry now sitting at Woolwich to report as to the desirability of providing a hospital nearer the danger zone than the present one, † See page 59. having regard to the fact that it took twenty minutes to remove the injured men to the present one, on the occasion of the recent explosion, owing to the distance.


This point has already been thoroughly considered and it is not thought advisable to provide a new hospital. The existing hospital is close to the machine shops, where the majority of accidents occur, while a fully equipped hospital train is always ready near the danger buildings to transport men to the hospital. Ample provision of first-aid requisites is made throughout the Arsenal, and men qualified to render first-aid are organised so as to be always readily available. The time taken in the removal of these men to the hospital is not considered excessive, and it must be remembered that first-aid had already been rendered before removal.


Has the War Office ever considered for a moment the rider of the jury on the occasion of the last explosion, that greater facilities should be afforded for rendering aid to the injured? I know all about the first-aid but, honestly, this hospital is a very long way from the point where it is most needed.


All such recommendations are carefully considered; but I think the hon. Member must realise that, considering the Arsenal, although containing a great number of workmen, is not of unlimited size, the provision of hospitals at various points, when already there are ample means of communication, would be putting the authorities to great additional expense and trouble.


What is expense to men's lives?

MR. FLAVIN (Kerry, N.)

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that a great many lives might be saved in twenty minutes?


Will the right hon. Gentleman consult the Inspector-General of the Arsenal upon this point? It is a matter of burning importance. There are 16,000 men there.


Order, order! The matter is one, no doubt, of great importance, but the hon. Member cannot debate it now.