HC Deb 20 February 1918 vol 103 cc716-7
23. Major D. DAVIES

asked the Undersecretary of State for War whether his attention has been called to the case of David Morgan Jenkins, No. 454,830, a sapper in the Glamorganshire Royal Engineers, who, whilst engaged as a joiner upon Government work, was called up by the Swansea recruiting authorities in April, 1915, but was rejected for admission to the Army in accordance with Army Council Order, No. 908, 16 on the certificate of the tuberculosis officer for the Swansea district; whether he is aware that in November, 1916, the medical recruiting board at Cardiff ignored the certificate of the tuberculosis officer and enlisted this man into the Army, when he was sent to Chatham, and, after having spent several months in the Army, was transferred to the military hospital at Pembroke; that in January, 1918, after arrangements had been made for his treatment at a sanatorium at the request of the military authorities, he was sent back to his home in Swansea in a dying condition, where he died from tuberculosis on the 22nd January; and whether, in view of the disregard of Army Council Order No. 908/16, he will state what disciplinary measures he proposes to take with regard to the medical officers of the recruiting board at Cardiff who dealt with this particular case?


Inquiries are being made into this case, and I will, inform my hon. and gallant Friend of the result as soon as possible.

75 and 76. Major DAVIES

asked the Minister of National Service (1) whether Army Council Order, No. 908/16, is still in force or whether it has now been modified; if so, whether he will state what the present arrangements are with regard to the recruitment of persons suffering from tuberculosis; (2) whether medical boards have been instructed to reject for admission to the Army all cases who have been certified by medical officers of health or tuberculosis officers to be suffering from tuberculosis; whether any persons certified to be suffering from this disease are employed on work of National Service; and, if so, whether he can state the categories of employment to which these men are allocated?


The practice of National Service medical boards as regards cases of pulmonary tuberculosis is prescribed in N.S.I. 18, of 1917, which has already been laid on the Table, and effectively provided against the recruitment of men suffering from this disease. Rejections of such men are absolute, and do not entail any obligation to engage in any form of work.


Arising out of that reply, can my hon. Friend say whether the certificate supplied by the medical officer of health or the tuberculosis officer is regarded as sufficient evidence by the Board for the purposes of rejection?


Oh, no; I think the medical board makes its own diagnosis.