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Crimean texts

McNeill/Tulloch Commission of Enquiry

This presentation is based on transcripts by Megan Stevens, and includes the page numbers of the original publication in order to maintain the validity of page references. It is arranged in the following sections:-

Evidence, page 98

TWENTY-EIGHTH DAY. - Sunday, 22nd April.

FRANCISCO FERNANDEZ, Dispenser of Medicines, examined.

Has held that office since 1st January. Draws his stores from Scutari on the requisition of Dr. Hall. Considers it his duty to report to him when any particular stores are getting low. Sends a requisition or invoice to Dr. Hall for what is wanted, but takes no further steps; these requisitions are sometimes signed by Dr. Hall at Balaklava, and forwarded by the dispenser, when an opportunity offers of an hospital ship or mail going. When such a requisition is forwarded by an hospital ship, it is intrusted to the medical officer in charge of the sick; sometimes the requisition has been sent to Dr. Hall at headquarters, signed by him and forwarded by him. Hitherto both these modes have been operation with a view to the saving of time. If he receives no return to his requisition within a week, he then writes to the principal apothecary at Scutari. Until about a month ago when the new storekeeper arrived, it frequently happened that there was great delay in complying with requisitions for medicines wanted here. Will furnish a return of the requisitions sent to Scutari,* and the date when the medicines required were received. Made the last issue of quinine from the store on the 30th March. This exhausted the quinine in the store. Will furnish a note of the quantity issued on that day. On the 3rd April, forwarded a requisition for quinine, for fifty pounds, to Dr. Hall, at headquarters, who transmitted it to Scutari on the 4th. This supply arrived in the harbour on the evenin g of the 19th April, and was landed on the morning of the 20th. There was, therefore, an interval of seventeen days between the date of the requisition and the receipt of the supply. Besides the quinine in the store, there were also some ounces, of the exact amount of which he will furnish a note, in the surgery, which was issued in the interval between the 3rd and 20th April. Will also furnish a statement of the regiments to which this was issued.

On the 14th April, a return was obtained of the quantity of quinine in the medicine chests of the regiments, and of the divisions from which it appeared, that at that date there was twenty-four pounds eight ounces of quinine in camp. Will furnish a copy of that return, showing how much each regiment then had. Produces a letter dated 13th April, from Mr. James Joseph, Chief Medical Storekeeper at Scutari, to Dr. John Hall, Inspector-General of Hospitals in the Crimea, accounting for the delay in complying with a requisition. Will furnish a copy of that letter, and explains that he understands it to refer to his requisition of the 3rd April. Will furnish a written statement of how it occurred that the stock of quinine came to be exhausted. Expects that in a few days he will have not less than 200 pounds of it in store. The space for storing his medicines is barely sufficient now, and will be quite inadequate when his quarterly supply arrives. The floor of one of the store huts and of an apartment under the storehouse, are occupied by regimental medicine chests; and unless these are removed or another hut erected, he will be unable to find room for his stores when the quarterly supply arrives.

By order of Dr. Hall, two more store huts have been erected since my evidence was given.

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