§ 8. Mr. SNELL
asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether he is aware that the recommendations of the Medical Services Committee were forwarded by the Government of India to the Secretary of State for decision some two years ago; that no decision has yet been given by the Secretary of State for India, especially about the transfer of certain appointments ordinarily held by the Indian Medical Service officers to the provincial medical services in the various provinces; that the question regarding medical research and the reduction of the 884 military assistant surgeons and sub-assistant surgeons, forming part of the recommendations, is still undecided; and whether, in view of the protests made lately in the Indian Legislative Assembly, he will undertake to expedite his decision?
§ Mr. RICHARDS
I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate the reply, which is somewhat long, in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
§ Lieut.-Colonel FREMANTLE
May I ask whether the hon. Gentleman considers that this delay is not seriously prejudicing the recruitment for this most important service?
§ Mr. RICHARDS
I should like to remind the hon. and gallant Gentleman that this question was recently considered by the Lee Commission.
§ Following is the reply:
§ It has been found impossible to adopt the fundamental proposal of the Medical Services Committee—i.e., the creation of a single medical service in India. I am sending the hon. Member a copy of a Paper showing the extent to which civil posts are now reserved for Indian Medical Service Officers in the provinces. With the addition of posts under the Central Government these number 333 as compared with 380 recommended for reservation by the Committee and 422 before the War. In the interests of economy the research service has been reduced to a skeleton cadre of six posts, all held by Indian Medical Service officers. In the case of military assistant surgeons no question of reservation arises and the provincial authorities are, I believe, in some cases effecting reductions. In regard to sub-assistant surgeons, I am not clear what information the hon. Member desires.