§ 21. Mr. Sorensen
asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will give consideration to the incidence of the war on the Seychelles; whether any competent medical service has been instituted to combat venereal disease and tuberculosis; whether he is aware of the high mortality rates of Seychelles soldiers serving outside their own islands in the last war; and whether, in view of this, he will make representations to secure the retention of Seychelles troops in their own islands instead of those islands being garrisoned by other colonial troops?
§ Mr. Harold Macmillan
As regards venereal disease, since the reply given by my predecessor to a similar Question in this House on the 17th December last year, a new Senior Medical Officer has been appointed, one of whose principal duties will be to deal with the problems of venereal disease and tuberculosis. My Noble Friend has no reason to believe that the mortality rate of Seychelles troops outside the Colony during the present war is abnormally high, and does not consider that it would be in the best interests either of the Colony itself or of the war effort as a whole to press for their return.
§ Mr. Sorensen
Why are Seychelles troops sent out of the islands and troops from other Colonies let in? In the circumstances could not the right hon. Gentleman make a recommendation that Seychelles troops should be retained in their own islands?
§ Mr. Macmillan
I think if the hon. Member considers what his suggestion involves—considerable shipping movements for large distances—he will see that it is impracticable.