§ 87. Mr. PRINGLE
asked whether any fresh instructions or circulars have been issued to medical boards either generally or to boards in particular areas; and, if so, whether he will lay these instructions upon the Table of the House?
§ Mr. BECK
As I have already stated in my answer on the 10th June to the hon. and learned Member for Ealing, instructions were issued that medical boards might be reduced to three and in case of great emergency even to two, although it has not been necessary to adopt the latter course. It would, I think, be wasteful to print for general circulation the suggestions made to the boards by the National Service Medical Department, but I shall be happy to have typewritten copies placed in the Library, where they will be available for Members. My right hon. Friend the Minister of National Service notes by the Question Paper that there is some anxiety concerning certain medical gradings. He has, therefore, asked me to make arrangements convenient to Members interested for my right hon. Friend to meet them in a Committee Room upstairs, when he will be happy fully to explain the system adopted and to answer questions. Perhaps Monday afternoon would be convenient.
§ Mr. PRINGLE
Will the Minister of National Service make a statement in the House on this subject, so that it may be available to the public?
§ Mr. OUTHWAITE
Is this new policy the result of the appointment to the control of the medical boards of an officer who was recently condemned by the Mesopotamia Commission?
§ Mr. P. A. HARRIS
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there is a strong feeling outside as to secret instructions issued to 2190 these boards, and can they be made public in order that we may understand the procedure?
§ Mr. BECK
This morning I looked through a few files of detailed and almost scrappy suggestions sent out to the medical boards by the Medical Department, and I am going to lay a pile of these in the Library of the House of Commons for hon. Members to see. There is nothing secret about them, and they are mainly suggestions. The official instructions have all been published and they have not been varied in any particular.
§ Mr. PRINGLE
Will my hon. Friend see that these instructions are placed in the Library before the discussion on this subject takes place on the Vote of Credit?