Royal Army Medical Corps.

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army. – in the House of Commons on 14th March 1922.

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Mr. LOCKER-LAMPSON:

21.

asked the Secretary of State for War what is the present establishment of the Royal Army Medical Corps?

Photo of Mr Worthington Evans Mr Worthington Evans , Colchester

The present strength of the Royal Army Medical Corps is 1,321 officers and 4,990 other ranks. The establishment estimated as being required for 1st April, 1923, is 1,045 officers and 4,516 other ranks.

Mr. LOCKER-LAMPSON:

Why is it necessary to have so very much larger an establishment than before the War?

Photo of Mr Worthington Evans Mr Worthington Evans , Colchester

Perhaps my hon. Friend will raise the question to-morrow so that I may have an opportunity of dealing with it in debate.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley , Fylde

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Debate will last only from four o'clock until a quarter past eight, and that therefore a great number of Members will not have the opportunity of speaking? Will he answer some of the questions now?

Photo of Mr Carlyon Bellairs Mr Carlyon Bellairs , Maidstone

Will the establishment figures be affected by the proposals of the Geddes Committee, which is accepted by the Government, for the amalgamation of the Army, Navy and Air Force medical services?

Photo of Mr Worthington Evans Mr Worthington Evans , Colchester

That proposal has not been accepted. It is the subject of an inquiry which is about to be commenced. Of course, I am very sorry that we shall not have more time tomorrow, but I understand that we can go on after eleven o'clock if the House so desires, and I shall not shirk my part.

Mr. LOCKER-LAMPSON:

Is it not all the more important when the time of Debate is curtailed that the right hon. Gentleman should give answers to questions now.

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

May I point out to the hon. Member that the right hon. Gentleman has answered definitely the question put on the Paper. He has given the exact figures which were asked for in the question. It is only the arguments on the question that he has declined to answer to-day.