HC Deb 05 February 1918 vol 101 cc2065-6
21 and 81. Colonel Lord HENRY CAVENDISH-BENTINCK

asked (1) the Under-Secretary of State for War whether the refusal of the military authorities to keep the agreement arrived at between them and the Pensions Minister that discharged soldiers should have the right of re-entry into military orthopædic hospitals has caused great shortage of the accommodation necessary for the treatment of cases needing further care and operations and consequently serious hardship to many disabled soldiers; what was the reason for taking this step; (2) the Pensions Minister whether the War Office still refuses to allow discharged soldiers to enter military hospitals; whether the War Office has ceased to retain accommodation for serving soldiers in civil hospitals; and how many beds have been released thereby for discharged soldiers?


The War Office has been obliged to discontinue the assist- ance which it was giving to the Ministry of Pensions, as there would not have been sufficient accommodation for the oversea soldier. Accommodation occupied by the War Office in civil hospitals will be released as soon as possible, when an increased number of beds for serving soldiers can be made available elsewhere. The War Office is in close consultation with the Ministry of Pensions upon this point.


Is it not a fact that a very large number of disabled soldiers cannot obtain further treatment in hospital, in consequence of the refusal of the War Office to take them in?


As I have just said, the War Office is in constant consultation with the Ministry of Pensions.


That does not prevent this.