HC Deb 06 August 1919 vol 119 cc332-3
8. Colonel YATE

asked the Secretary of State for India whether he can make any statement as to the amelioration of the hospital arrangements for the sick and wounded in the operations on the North-West Frontier of India; whether he is aware that one officers' hospital was so badly equipped that the patients had to use their shaving mugs as drinking cups and tumblers; that no casualty lists were issued for more than a month subsequent to 17th May; and even wives were not officially informed of their husbands' deaths and were left to hear of it from other sources?


As regards the first part of the question, I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the very full statement which I have made in answer to another question of his. The second part is covered by the request which I have already addressed to the Government of India for a report on the hospital referred to. It is not the case, so far as I am aware, that no casualty lists were published for more than a month subsequent to 17th May. Reports of casualties are communicated to the War Office as they are received by the India Office, and are published by the former. Apart from publication, reports of casualties are immediately communicated by the India Office to the next-of-kin in all cases in which the names of the next-of-kin have been registered. If the hon. and gallant Member will inform me what are the cases to which he refers in the last part of his question, I will have inquiry made.

Colonel YATE

I refer to the publication by the Government of India. I would ask, with regard to the statement in yester day's full statement which is referred to that the scale of equipment of Indian general hospitals has been reviewed and that arrangements for providing additional equipment are in progress, does not that show that the shortage brought to light by the Mesopotamia Commission has not yet been remedied in India and that the pernicious Report of Lord Nicholson and Sir William Meyer which caused Lord Crewe to limit the expenditure on the Indian Army to £19,500,000 is still operating and—


The hon. and gallant Member is making an argumentative speech.