HC Deb 27 June 1917 vol 95 cc359-61

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War (1) whether his attention has been called to a recent meeting of the Mitcham Tribunal, at which a man passed for service asked permission to go before a special medical board; whether he is aware that this man is blind in one eye, half-blind in the other, and stone deaf, and had to be led into the room by a clerk; whether he proposes making any investigation into this case; (2) whether his attention has been called to a Mitcham chemist, the owner of a one-man business, who applied before the local tribunal for permission to go before a special medical board; whether he is aware that this man, formerly rejected for military service, has now been passed for general service, and that although he only weighs 91 lbs. he will be expected to carry a kit weighing 90 lbs. exclusive of his rifle; whether he has seen that Dr. Love, a member of the tribunal, described the classification as absurd; whether he proposes taking any action in the matter; (3) whether he will make investigation into the case of Charles Walker Smillie, of 7, Chipping-ham-place, Attercliffe, Sheffield, who was recently medically examined and passed for general service in the Army; whether he is aware that this man is 4 ft. 10 ins. in height and weighs about six stone, and that he will be expected to carry a kit heavier than himself; and whether, in the circumstances, he will cause a further medical examination to be made, either with a view to the discharge of this man from the Army or to the placing of him in a lower category?

27 and 28. Sir BERTRAM FALLE

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War (l) if he is aware that Harold Vincent Lawton, 77, St. Romans Road, South-sea, passed into Portsmouth Dockyard as engineer apprentice August, 1906, and was invalided out the same year with tubercle of the hip, that he has not been able to work for six and a half years, but has recently done sedentary work as a bank clerk, that he presented himself under the Derby scheme, was rejected for tubercle of the hip and given a blue form, and that H. V. Lawton was passed second general service in June, 1917; if he will inquire into this case and have, the matter put right; if A. C.I. 471, which suggests that any man who has been treated for tuberculosis at any time is to be rejected, has been abrogated; (2) if he is aware that Messrs. Leethem, corset makers, Portsmouth, who employ over 1,000 women hands, were asked in November last by the substitution officer, recruiting depot, if they would release a skilled pattern cutter, Robinson, a general service man, for the 6th Hants, if another of their cutters who had joined up but had become C 2 was returned to them; that Messrs. Leethem agreed in good faith, but now this substitute has been called up; that Messrs. Leethem have an excellent war record, and that they give their workers an allowance while in the Service and have promised to reinstate them after the War, but all this will be impossible if their factories have to shut down; and if he will inquire into the matter and allow Messrs. Leethem to retain all but general service skilled pattern cutters?


asked the Under-Secretary of State for War if he will make inquiry into the methods of the medical board at St. Andrew's School. Stockport, where men are being summoned for a particular date for re-examination, kept waiting the whole day, and then sent away without examination and told to come come again, when a similar experience awaits them; and, in view of the hardship, inconvenience, and financial loss inflicted upon the men by this practice, will he take steps to effect an alteration?


I will answer at the same time Nos. 22, 23, 27, 28, and 31. In each of these cases it is necessary to obtain further particulars, and my hon. Friends shall be informed of the result as soon as possible.

32. Mr. T. WILSON

asked whether, under the provisions of the Military Service (Review of Exceptions) Act, a man who has been medically rejected, who attained the age of forty-one in April last, who has been substituted for a man who has been released for the Army, and who is working in an excepted occupation, is called up for medical re-examination?


A man who was excepted from the Military Service Acts, 1916, and attained the age of forty-one within thirty days after the 5th April, 1917, the date on which the Military Service (Review of Exceptions) Act, 1917, was passed, cannot be made liable for military service under the latter Act. If a notice requiring him to present himself for medical re-examination is sent to him, he should return it to the recruiting officer with a statement as to his age, which may be fortified by his birth certificate.


Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that he is excepted from this Act if he attains the age of forty-one before the expiration of the thirty days after the notice is served on him, and that therefore the answer is inaccurate?


No, Sir. The answer may be incomplete.


It is inaccurate.