HC Deb 15 May 1916 vol 82 cc1115-7
71 and 72. Mr. HOGGE

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War (1) whether he can state, for the convenience of men already rejected on medical grounds, the names and numbers of the certificates which, if held by them, will obviate any further medical inspection; and (2) whether an unattested man rejected under the Derby scheme who has received an armlet as a reject and possesses rejection form No. B 2512 A, totally medically unfit, or B 2505 A, will be requested to submit to further medical examination under the new Bill?


I am afraid I cannot answer my hon. Friend's question in terms of the names and numbers of the certificates. He knows as well as I do that Army forms are capable of being wrongly used and that they have been wrongly used. He may, however, be assured that no man known rightfully to hold a certificate of rejection on medical grounds issued by an authorised official would be required to be re-examined unless there be reason to believe that his medical disability was of a temporary nature, or of a nature which does not preclude his employment in some form of military service.


Is my right hon. Friend aware of the large amount of anxiety amongst men who hold these certificates, and is he absolutely unable to give the names and particulars of any certificates which will exempt these men from re-examination?


The answer to the first part of the question is Yes. I believe that is so—there is some anxiety. There is no certificate which has been issued, so far as I am aware, which exempts a man from all forms of military service.


Arising out of the right hon. Gentleman's first answer will he assure the House that it is not the intention of the military authorities to lower the standard for the Army, making the men more unfit?


Certainly it is not the intention of the military authority to lower the medical standard for general service. What I want the House to realise is that we have other categories besides general service.


What the men ask for is a certificate stating the position. They wish to know whether they are absolutely rejected or not, and can the right hon. Gentleman devise some means of enabling the men to get to know?


I will see if some means can be devised; it is a very difficult thing.


I will raise this point to-morrow night, on the Motion for Adjournment.

84. Mr. W. THORNE

asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether men who at present hold certificates of exemption from military service for medical reasons and who are re-examined and subsequently called up for service will be entitled to adequate financial compensation in the shape of pensions in the event of breakdown in health following military service; and if he will state that the War Office will accept full financial responsibility for men called up in the circumstances named?


Such men will not be called up unless the medical authorities are satisfied that they are fit for service in the category in which they are placed. They will therefore be upon the same footing as other soldiers for pension.