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Army—Military Surgeons At French And Prussian Head Quarters

Volume 203: debated on Thursday 21 July 1870

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said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for War, Whether he intends to request permission for a British Military Surgeon of experience to be attached to the head quarters of the French and Prussian Armies for the purpose of studying and reporting upon the effects of the more recent inventions of modern warfare, and the most approved methods of transporting sick and wounded Men during rapid movements of Troops? He would also beg to ask whether the statement in the leading article of The Times that morning was correct, that Her Majesty's Government had refused permission to Officers on half or on full pay to proceed to the seat of war; and, if so, what were the reasons that had led to that decision?

Sir, the Director General of the Army Medical Department has called my attention to the importance of the measure suggested by my hon. and gallant Friend, and I will endeavour to carry it into effect. In answer to the second Question, I have to say that, in laying down as a general ride that such permission should not be given, I believe Her Majesty's Government have pursued the course adopted on former occasions. I am aware that, in former cases, exceptions have been made; but, in the present instance, Her Majesty's Government have thought it right to adhere to the general rule, and have not felt themselves at liberty to make any exception.