HC Deb 18 February 1904 vol 130 cc240-1
DR. MACNAMARA (Camberwell, N.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War if he can submit to the House a statement showing how far the general recommendations of the Royal Commission on the Care and Treatment of the Sick and Wounded during the South African Campaign either have been carried out or are still under consideration with a view to adoption.


A detailed explanation of all action taken would involve the preparation of a very lengthy report. The following brief statement will, however, I think, sufficiently show what has been done, taking the recommendations of the Commission seriatim: (1) The establishment of officers has been increased by 100. The Royal Army Medical Corps has been increased by 400 men. (2) The supply of surgeons and trained orderlies in the event of a great war is now receiving careful consideration. The equipment provided by the Mowatt reserves for three Army Corps, one cavalry division, and line of communication troops will, it is hoped, be quite complete by the middle of 1904. (3) The supply of candidates is now sufficient and the quality most satisfactory. A college has been established in London, through which all captains must pass before promotion. Promotion to the higher ranks will be by selection, and all must attain a high standard of qualification. Acceleration in promotion from captain to major can now be obtained by officers who show special merit at examination. Also special professional attainments will be recognised by appointment to special posts carrying extra pay. (4) The formation of Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service provides for a great increase in the establishment of women nurses. (5) Sanitary officers have already been, and are still being, appointed to important commands. (6) A new and improved pattern of ambulance wagon has been adopted. (7) Experiments are now in progress having for their object the provision of a tent of improved pattern and more suitable for sick and wounded.