HC Deb 20 April 1937 vol 322 cc1558-9
3. Mr. George Griffiths

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that E. A. Wareham, No. 6,912,364, was discharged from the Rifle Brigade suffering from tuberculosis; that there is no trace of tuberculosis in the soldier's family; whether he received any treatment for the disease; and whether the man received a pension or a gratuity?

Mr. Cooper

Yes, Sir. Mr. Wareham's case received thorough investigation and treatment, including surgical treatment which effected a considerable improvement in his condition. He received a gratuity of £18 on his discharge from the Army. I regret that as his disability was not caused by his service, he is not eligible for a pension.

Mr. Griffiths

Is it not a fact that he was a sound man when he went into the Army and had no trace of tuberculosis, and that he contracted it in the Army?

Mr. Cooper

That does not show that it was due to service.

Mr. Morgan Jones

Seeing that there are so many of these cases, will the right hon. Gentleman provide some sort of court of appeal to which these cases might be referred rather than having the final decision laid down at the War Office?

Mr. Cooper

It is laid down by the medical advisers of the War Office who look into the case. The only court of appeal would be another medical board. I am prepared to consider it, but I do not see that it would serve any useful purpose by having an appeal from one medical board to another.

Mr. Jones

Is it not the case that it is the certificate of the doctors themselves that is very much questioned, and is it not possible to have an appeal to a board half civil and half medical?

Mr. Cooper

I am prepared to consider it, but I cannot see that a civil board could give valuable advice as to the origin of a disease.

Mr. G. Griffiths

Will the right hon. Gentleman reconsider this man's case, seeing that it is so glaring?

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