HC Deb 16 February 1920 vol 125 cc545-6W
Colonel YATE

asked the Secretary of State for India whether, considering that the sanctioned family scale for the British units now arriving in India is practically double the pre-war scale, and also that owing to the scarcity of bungalows many of the wives of junior officers have to be taken into the family hospitals for treatment, he will state what steps are being by the Government of India to provide the extra hospital accommodation and equipment required and to sanction the appointment of the fully trained nurses now so urgently needed for the family hospitals?


The improvements referred to in my hon. and gallant Friend's question form part of an extensive programme for the improvement of hospitals in India which has been accepted by Government on the recommendation of the Makins Committee and is being undertaken as funds permit. I am enquiring of the Government of India regarding the progress made with the particular items to which my hon. and gallant Friend refers.


asked the Secretary of State for War if he will state the number of British officers who have fallen on the Indian frontier since January, 1919, against the Afghans and against the hill tribes, respectively; the numbers of disasters and casualties about Fort Sandeman and other outposts since January, 1919; if the outposts were at once reinforced on the threat of an Afghan war, and, if not, why this course was not adopted; if aeroplanes were asked for by these outposts, and if so, why they were not granted; if the Indian Government was offered aeroplanes after the armistice and when, and if and when they were accepted; and what number of aeroplanes were in India in January, June, and December of 1919?


The number of British officers killed and wounded is as follows: In the Afghan operations, killed 25, wounded 36. In other operations on the North-West Frontier, killed 29, wounded 26. The above figures include casualties for Fort Sandeman and other outposts. The term "disaster" does not fit anything that has occurred on the North-West Frontier since January, 1919. I have no information as to the extent to which the outposts were reinforced; this would be a matter for the General Officer in command of the operations to decide with due regard to the forces at his disposal and the disadvantage of disseminating his strength in the face of the Afghan forces. I am unaware that any outposts asked for aeroplanes, which I may remark, require landing grounds and aerodromes and other preparations to be made in advance. 100 aeroplanes were offered to the Indian Government in June, 1919, for civil purposes and were at once accepted. No personnel was included in this offer. It was unnecessary to offer aeroplanes for military purposes, since the Government of India had already made known their requirements, and these have now been met by increasing: the two squadrons of the Royal Air Force-which were in India in January and June., 1919, to six in December, 1919. Further information is contained in the correspondence presented to this House in Command Paper, No. 398.