HC Deb 16 May 1916 vol 82 c1331

asked what steps the commanding officer of a Reserve Battalion is to take if a recruit on joining the battalion is considered by his captain unfit for military service, in view of the fact that medical officers attached to these units are only allowed to examine for infectious diseases?


I think the captain must subordinate his opinion to that of others who know better. Recruits sent to a Reserve Battalion as fit for general service have been so classified by a Recruiting Medical Board, which has a far wider knowledge and experience than any captain in a Reserve Battalion can have. It is recognised that a recruit, though organically sound, may not be physically fit for active service until he has completed his training. The captain should bend his efforts to making the man physically fit. If, on the completion of training, the medical officer considers the man to be unfit for active service, he may bring him before a Travelling Medical Board, which will decide on the man's fitness or otherwise.


Have we to keep these men in the battalions in order that they may be trained at the public expense, and then turn them out?


What we are anxious to do is to see that they do become competent for the force, and to keep them two or three months in order to ascertain that. That is surely not a waste of public money or public energy.