British Medical Journal

1893 BMJ (Clinical Research Edition)  
BRITISH MEDICAL ASSOCIATION. SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR 1893. SUBSCRIPTIONS to the Association for 1893 became due on January 1st. Members of Branches are requested to pay the same to their respective Secretaries. Members of the Association not belonging to Branches are requested to forward their remittances to the General Secretary, 429, Strand, London. Post-office orders should be made payable at the West Central District Office, High Holborn. SATURDAY, MAY 27TH, 1893. THE DEPUTATIONS TO THE WAR AND
more » ... DIAN MINISTERS. I. As we observed last week, the influential deputations, which had interviews with the Secretaries of State for War and for India, will in all probability exercise an important influence on the future well-being of the Army Medical Service. They were received with marked courtesy, and were given every encouragement to state their case with perfect candour. The Secretary of State for War, as the Minister more directly concerned, probably showed a keener interest in the representations made, but Lord Kimberley also listened with marked attention, although it was impossible not to notice that, through him, the Indian Government still affect to regard the Medical Staff as no child of theirs, and apparently fail to realise its essential importance in Indian army administration. We shall revert to this curious and obstinate feature of the Indian official mind later on. We think the deputation to the War Minister was well advised in not pressing too closely, or far, the more contentious subject of a consolidated medical corps; for, although this must be kept steadily in view as the true ultimate goal in army medical reform, yet, pending further and fuller evolution, there is danger that by insisting on it too rigidly, minor, though pressing, reforms may be postponed which can and ought to be dealt with at once. There was one fresh objection, evidently of military origin, which cropped up against a consolidated corps, and which ought to be noticed and traversed, namely, that the number of officers would be altogether disproportionate to the strength of men. The force of the argument might be admitted if the only standard of proportion was that in cavalry and infantry regiments; but if we turn to the Royal Engineers, with wbich alone a possible consolidated medical corps could be compared, the objection is found invalid. The corps of Royal Engineers has about 5,000 men to 1,000 officers; a consolidated medical corps would have about 2,400 men to some 550 officers serving out of India, and, in that country, 3,000 enlisted natives to 300 officers. These are, of course, peace figures, but in war mobilisation with the reserves of the Medical Staff Corps and Militia and Volunteers called up, together with detachments of Transport and other corps attached to the Medical Department, the Medical Staff would have under its immediate command no fewer than 5,000 or 6,000 men, independent of natives in India. The " dispropor-tionate " argument, like others conjured up in the military r T= ..Bwmm i IN LXX618" '409MAL -THE IDEPUTATIONS TM.'MINISTER& MAY !hl 184|
doi:10.1136/bmj.1.1691.1121 fatcat:y7ldxfemebaojksuoyrjsd3c3e