§ DR. MACGREGOR (Inverness-shire)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether the Governor of Malta, has made any representations as 907 to the presence of two Surgeon-Major-Generals in Malta, one of whom has no duties to perform; and, if so, can these be submitted to the House; and can he give any explanation of this state of things?
§ *MR. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
In January last the question of the succession to the post of Principal Medical Officer at Malta had to be considered, as Surgeon - Major - General Madden, who then held it, was due to retire on account of age on the 1st August. Unusual difficulty occurred; for of the Surgeon-Major-Generals on the roster for foreign service, one stood for immediate retirement, and two were ineligible by age. This brought the succession down to an officer who had only been appointed a few mouths ago to medical charge at Aldershot; and it was thought undesirable to disturb him in that important charge. Under the circumstances, it was considered best that Surgeon-Major-General Paterson, who was returning from Hong Kong, should succeed Surgeon-Major-General Madden, who was ordered home for the completion of his service. The Governor of Malta represented that this arrangement was inconvenient to Surgeon-Major-General Madden, and the Commander-in-Chief decided, as no additional expense to the public was involved, to allow him to complete his term at Malta. As a consequence, there are for two or three months two medical officers of the highest grade at Malta, but one is junior to and under the command of the other; and, moreover, after his service at Hong Kong, he is entitled to leave of absence, so that no inconvenience is likely to arise from the exceptional circumstances.