HC Deb 15 February 1917 vol 90 cc805-6

(by Private Notice) asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether, with reference to a recent Army Council Instruction ordering the discontinuance in military and auxiliary hospitals, convalescent camps, and command depôts, of instruction in trades and occupations, workshops, and poultry farms, he will state the reason for this Order putting an end to teaching which is proving very beneficial to the mental and bodily health of the patients?

The UNDER-SECRETARY Of STATE for WAR (Mr. Macpherson)

I regret that I can hold out no hope of this Order being reconsidered. Hospitals, convalescent camps, and command depots generally, if they are to fulfil their proper functions of getting the men fit for discharge as quickly as possible, and so setting the accommo- dation free for other patients, must be entirely devoted to the purposes of medical treatment. As my Noble Friend knows, there are special hospitals where manual training forms part of the sanctioned system of curative treatment.