§ 62. Mr. FORD
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware of the case of Mr. R. G. Laidlaw, who has been refused a pension because he is physically fit and who, though he has passed an examination, has been refused an appointment as officer of Customs and Excise by the Civil Service Commissioners on the ground that he is not physically fit; and how it is proposed that these divergent views should be reconciled without injury to a man who has served his country faithfully?
I have no information as to whether Mr. Laidlaw has been refused a pension by the Ministry of Pensions, or, if so, for what reason. Any inquiry on that point should be addressed to that Department. As regards his rejection for appointment under the Board of Customs and Excise, I am informed that he passed a qualifying examination under the Reconstruction Scheme for the post of officer of Customs and Excise and became a selected candidate in January, 1921. He was then medically examined on behalf of the Civil Service Commissioners by two Edinburgh physicians who severally advised his rejection, and the same advice was given by the Commissioners' referee in London, to whom the evidence obtained was submitted. I understand that he served in 649 the Army from 1914 to January, 1919, when he was demobilised in medical category A1. The Civil Service Commissioners have no reason to suppose that the physical defect on account of which they were unable to admit him to the established Customs service two years after demobilisation was either due to or aggravated by his military service.