"MILITARY AND NAVAL MEDICAL SERVICES.
ARMY MEDICAL DEPARTMENT.
"SIR,-Permit me to make a few remarks concerning the Army Medical Department. The supply of medical officers for the army in all grades is understood to be unusually insufficient, and the demand urgent. Consequently, Government is calling for volunteer civil surgeons to accompany the troops now at the front with the Zulus; and of these, no fewer than fifty have already been placed in orders for that service. These civil surgeons are to receive £1 a-day, with rations, forage, and a free passage. Before Colonel Stanley adopts the ill-considered recommendations of the Departmental Committee, now before him, it may be well to point out that the scarcity of
medical officers will become even greater should such proposals be framed into another unpopular warrant.First, pay the market value of surgeons for the army; secondly, give medical officers relative rank; thirdly, keep faith with them. First, the market value now is clearly not less than £1 a-day; for it maybe taken for granted that the Government is not paying for the services of civil surgeons on a higher scale; and if men who are inexperienced in military routine are worth so much, clearly, trained regimental surgeons ought not to receive a lower rate of pay. Secondly, the rank of surgeons, on passing through the course of instruction at Netley as trained officers, should be that of captain, and their ages not less than twenty-two years nor more than twenty-eight. Thirdly, to keep faith with army surgeons, many changes in the management of the department should be made; and whatever the new warrant may prove, it should be so framed as to have all its clauses capable of bearing but one interpretation only, and to be complete in itself, instead of depending on former and partly
obsolete warrants for its correct explanation. To prevent confusion as to the distribution of duties, and soreness in questions of seniority and promotion, which can hardly fail to be generated by the existing state of things, I should propose that those surgeons who have taken service under the warrant of I876 should be included under the terms of the new warrant, on the understanding that their enjoyment of any advantages it holds out should court from the date of its issue, and not back to the issue of the previous warrant".
I am, sir, yours etc., STRANGER.
Hornsey, N., February 26th, 1878.