§ MR. LAMBERT (Devonshire, South Molton)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether the Tibetan expedition has advanced beyond Gyangtse; whether it has been recognised by Dalai Lama; if not, what are the future movements of the expedition, and what are the casualties already sustained through wounds, sickness, and frostbite.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (Mr. BRODRICK,) Surrey, Guild ford
The Mission has not advanced beyond Gyangtse, nor has any communication been received from the Dalai Lama. I stated on Monday last†, in reply to a Question, that an announcement of the intentions of His Majesty's Government in the event of the negotiations at Gvangtse breaking down would not be in the public interest at present. As regards casualties through sickness and frostbite, the Government of India report thirty-five deaths to date among combatants, and forty-five deaths among followers and coolies. Cases of frostbite are given approximately as sixty-one among combatants, sixty-eight among others. The Government of India hold that, considering the altitude and the exceptional severity of the winter, mortality and sickness are wonderfully low, thanks to a liberal supply of warm clothing and extra rations. General health has been fair to good, combatants suffering more than followers owing to night duties. The health of the force is now good. The following casualties in action have been already reported:— Wounded: British, one officer and one newspaper correspondent. Native, thirteen.† See page 374.