HC Deb 25 April 1917 vol 92 cc2370-1

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War if he is aware that Thomas H. Widdowes, of 51, Cobden Street, Leytonstone, a tuberculous patient, twice rejected at Stratford for military service, has been called up for re-examination under the Military Service (Review of Exceptions) Act and passed for service abroad on the 13th instant; and if he will give instructions to cancel the calling-up notice in this case?


The man in question was not called up under the Military Service (Review of Exceptions) Act, 1917, which became law on 5th April. The notice calling him for examination was issued in the ordinary course under the law and regulations in force at the date of its issue, namely, 29th March, 1917. The man is an attested man, and he was classified on 26th February, 1916, as B 3 on the old classification, which is the equivalent of C 1 on the present classification. On 7th March, 1916, he was again examined and was not accepted for service at that time, but was not rejected. On no medical history sheet concerning him does any reference occur to symptoms of tuberculosis nor is there any evidence to suggest that he is affected by that disease now. He has got flat feet and has some slight disability resulting from an old injury to his left wrist, and appears to be correctly classified as fit for service abroad in a garrison unit.


asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether officers or men having been discharged as medically unfit on account of tuberculosis are liable, or will be liable, to be called up under the new Military Service Bill?


Officers who have ceased to hold commissions, and men who have been discharged from the Army on account of tuberculosis, are not expressly excepted from the provisions of the Military Service (Review of Exceptions) Act, 1917. My hon. Friend will realise that the Army does not wish to introduce to its ranks persons suffering from tuberculosis.


Is it the case that men have been passed who are suffering from chronic venereal complaints?


Can my hon. Friend give the House an assurance that before a man suffering from tuberculosis is taken the usual application shall be made to the Local Government Board for his medical record as a tuberculosis patient?


I will see what can be done.