§ 8.31 p.m.
§ Mr. Shinwell
I beg to move, in page 7, line 39, after "time," to insert:(not being earlier than the tenth day after the date of the service of the notice).If hon. Members will examine this Subsection, they will observe that no specific provision is embodied for the purpose of calling up the men for medical examination within a certain period. It is for the purpose of correcting this omission that I have moved this Amendment. In my submission, a reasonable time ought to elapse between the notice being served on the man and his appearance for the purpose of the examination. For example, the man ought not to be called up the day after the notice has been placed in his hands. Several days might well elapse before he makes his appearance as determined by this Clause.
I submit, further, that a man would require to make necessary arrangements, presumably with his employer, who might 797 be embarrassed if several men were required to leave their employment at very short notice, and possibly there might be domestic arrangements which would have to be fulfilled. Consequently, it would be desirable for the Minister to provide a specific number of days in which the man could make the necessary arrangements. I presume that the right hon. Gentleman will be prepared to make a concession on this matter; otherwise, the provision rests entirely within the discretion of the Minister, which would seem to me to be invidious. I beg the right hon. Gentleman to make the concession, or at any rate to make it specific within the Clause that a certain number of days must elapse between the calling-up notice and the appearance of the man for the medical examination.
§ 8.34 p.m.
§ Mr. E. Brown
The Amendment moved by the hon. Member raises two issues. First of all, the Amendment would make the period for the notice with regard to the medical examination be the same as that for the calling up. Secondly, it raises the question of the time that should elapse between the serving of the notice and the medical examination. On the first point, I think the Committee will agree that the Bill is right as it is, subject to a discussion of the second point. In the case of the calling-up notice, we should not call the man up at once but would give him time to make his arrangements before going away for the six months' period.
The other case is not the same. The medical examination may take a short time; it may be half a day, or even a couple of hours if the man happens to live near where the medical board is. He may require a day or a day and a half or a couple of days in order to attend the examination and in that case it will be inconvenient to all concerned to have too long a period of notice. I am, however, weighing what the hon. Member has said about putting a period of notice in the Bill. I should prefer that the Bill should not state a definite period, because it is better in these matters to have a little elasticity. It is in our minds to provide two or three days' notice for the medical examination. That in ordinary cases will be ample to enable the man to make his arrangements. Therefore, I do not think it necessary to put a definite period of notice in the Bill unless the Committee feel strongly that it ought to be in.
§ Mr. Shinwell
May I put two further points to the Minister on the submissions he has made? The right hon. Gentleman said that examinations would not take up much time. We have not been told the number of medical boards that will be established and a man, particularly in a rural area, may have to go a long distance to be medically examined. That will take up a considerable time, in addition to the delay that will be experienced if there are a large number of men waiting for examination. Moreover, it is unwise to have a condition of uncertainty as regards the time in which men must appear for medical examination, and I hope the right hon. Gentleman will insert some provision so that between the notice and the actual examination a certain time will elapse.
§ 8.38 p.m.
§ Sir Robert Young
I hope the Minister will fix a period which will be reasonable. A large number of workers are sent away from their places of employment and there may be a delay in the delivery of their notices. If a period is not in the Bill the Minister ought to make sure that a reasonable time is given.
§ Mr. E. Brown
That is what is in my mind. I have said that a little elasticity is desirable and that is why I do not want to tie myself down to a certain number of days. There will be about 120 medical boards, so that, except in very scattered parts, there will not be long delays. The point of the hon. Member for Newton (Sir R. Young) reinforces my plea that it is necessary to have elasticity as to the period of notice. We want to get the examination done as rapidly as possible, but if the circumstances are such that another day might be allowed, I shall be able to give it if the period is not laid down in the Bill. If it is in the Bill my hands will be tied.
§ 8.39 p.m.
§ Mr. George Griffiths
All the people who are in work at the present time are not working five or six days a week but are on short time, and I suggest that they should be called up for medical examination on a day when they are not working.
§ Mr. Griffiths
But it does not say so in the Bill. Under the Bill a lad might 799 be called up on the very day he is working; he will lose a day's wage and he will not be recompensed for it.
§ 8.40 p.m.
§ Mr. Richards
The Minister has mentioned the difficulties of communication in the rural areas, and I could give instances where unemployed men are called up to a centre in their county and it takes them a day to get there and another to get back. The margin ought to be considerable in the case of men in those circumstances, and I would like the Minister to interpret what has been said by the hon. Member for Seaham (Mr. Shinwell) in a generous way, and not confine the period to two or three days, which will be impossible in some cases.
§ 8.41 p.m.
§ Mr. McEntee
In my industry I know many young fellows who are in lodgings. They get a job away from home and they do not inform their landladies where they are going. They go away for a week or fortnight and return when their jobs are finished. It would be impossible to serve a notice on them, and I hope that in any regulations that will be made circumstances like those will receive consideration and that they will not be put into operation oppressively.
§ 8.42 p.m.
§ Mr. McGovern
Can the Minister give a definition of the form of notice which will be sent to these men? I frequently have cases of individuals who are summoned to rent courts by a notice. The notice is sometimes handed to another person in the house who signs for it. The postman accepts that, but the notice does not always get to the person for whom it is intended. I have had to go to the court half a dozen times to get cases
§ heard again because the individual concerned did not receive the notice. There are, too, often cases of summonses which do not reach the persons concerned and decisions are given in their absence. I hope that if men are to be subjected to penalties and compelled to prove that they have not received the notice the maximum period of notification will be given in order to ensure that the individuals receive the notices.
§ Mr. James Hall
I am surprised to hear the Minister talk of two or three days' notice, because I represent an industry in which young men are carrying out road transport duties and are often away from home for a week. They travel from place to place in a tramp-steamer-on-wheels method and they get right away from the centre without anyone at home being able to get into touch with them. I do not think the Minister wants to create difficulties for these young people or to land them into difficulties, and if there is a real degree of latitude it will be not only helpful for them but will avoid many difficulties.
§ 8.45 p.m.
§ Mr. E. Brown
I think it will be found that two or three days' notice will be ample in most cases, but we know from our industrial experience, which is very great, what an extraordinary variety of conditions there are in occupations, and we shall do our best to meet any difficulties which may arise. We are providing that there shall be elasticity and we shall act reasonably in the light of our industrial experience.
§ Mr. G. Griffiths
How will the next Amendment meet the case which I put forward a moment ago? I have looked at it and cannot see that it covers the point at all.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 135; Noes, 234.803
|Division No. 114.]||AYES.||[8.47 p.m.|
|Adams, D. (Consett)||Bellenger, F. J.||Clynes, Rt. Hon. J. R.|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.)||Benn, Rt. Hon. W. W.||Cocks, F. S.|
|Adamson, Jennie L. (Dartford)||Benson, G.||Collindridge, F.|
|Adamson, W. M.||Bevan, A.||Cove, W. G.|
|Alexander, Fit. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.)||Bromfield, W.||Cripps, Hon. Sir Stafford|
|Ammon, C. G.||Brown, C. (Mansfield)||Daggar, G.|
|Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.||Burke, W. A.||Dalton, H.|
|Banfield, J. W.||Charleton, H. C.||Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill)|
|Barr, J.||Chater, D.||Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)|
|Batey, J.||Cluse, W. S.||Day, H.|
|Dobbie, W.||Lathan, G.||Ritson, J.|
|Dunn, E. (Rother Valley)||Lawson, J. J.||Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens)|
|Ede, J. C.||Leach, W.||Salter, Dr. A. (Bermondsey)|
|Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty)||Leonard, W.||Seely, Sir H. M.|
|Evans, E. (Univ. of Wales)||Leslie, J. R.||Sexton, T. M.|
|Foot, D. M.||Logan, D. G.||Shinwell, E.|
|Frankel, D.||Lunn, W.||Silkin, L.|
|Gardner, B. W.||Macdonald, G. (Ince)||Silverman, S. S.|
|George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey)||McEntee, V. La T.||Simpson, F. B.|
|Gibson, R. (Greenock)||McGhee, H. G.||Sloan, A.|
|Graham, D. M. (Hamilton)||McGovern, J.||Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A.||MacLaren, A.||Smith, E. (Stoke)|
|Grenfell, D. R.||MacMillan, M. (Western Isles)||Smith, Rt. Hon. H. B. Lees- (K'ly)|
|Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth)||Mainwaring, W. H.||Smith, T. (Normanton)|
|Griffiths, J. (Llanelly)||Mander, G. le M.||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Groves, T. E.||Marshall, F.||Stephen, C.|
|Guest, Dr. L. H. (Islington, N.)||Mathers, G.||Stewart. W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)|
|Hall, G. H. (Aberdare)||Maxton, J.||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)|
|Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)||Messer, F.||Thurtle, E.|
|Hardie, Agnes||Milner, Major J.||Tinker, J. J.|
|Hayday, A.||Montague, F.||Tomlinson, G.|
|Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Viant, S. P.|
|Henderson, J. (Ardwick)||Muff, G.||Watkins, F. C.|
|Henderson, T. (Tradeston)||Naylor, T. E.||Watson, W. McL.|
|Hicks, E. G.||Noel-Baker, P. J.||Welsh, J. C.|
|Hills, A. (Pontefract)||Oliver, G. H.||Westwood, J.|
|Hollins, A.||Paling, W.||White, H. Graham|
|Hopkin, D.||Parker, J.||Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)|
|Jenkins, A. (Pontypool)||Parkinson, J. A.||Williams, T. (Don Valley)|
|Jenkins, Sir W. (Neath)||Pearson, A.||Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)|
|Johnston, Rt. Hon. T.||Pethick-Lawrence, Rt. Hon. F. W.||Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)|
|Jones, A. C. (Shipley)||Poole, C. C.||Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)|
|Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T.||Price, M. P.||Young, Sir R. (Newton)|
|Kirby, B. V.||Pritt, D. N.|
|Kirkwood, D.||Richards, R. (Wrexham)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Lansbury, Rt. Hon. G.||Riley, B.||Mr. Whiteley and Mr. Anderson.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lt.-Col. G. J.||Cox, H. B. Trevor||Hambro, A. V.|
|Adams, S. V. T. (Leeds, W.)||Cranborne, Viscount||Hammersley, S. S.|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Comdr. P. G.||Craven-Ellis, W.||Hannah, I. C.|
|Albery, Sir Irving||Critchley, A.||Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)|
|Allen, Col. J. Sandeman (B'knhead)||Croft, Brig.-Gen. Sir H. Page||Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.|
|Anderson, Sir A. Garrett (C. of Ldn.)||Crooke, Sir J. Smedley||Herbert, Lt.-Col. J. A. (Monmouth)|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.||Higgs, W. F.|
|Aske, Sir R. W.||Crowder, J. F. E.||Hoare, Rt. Hon. Sir S.|
|Assheton, R.||Cruddas, Col. B.||Holmes, J. S.|
|Baillie, Sir A. W. M.||Culverwell, C. T.||Hopkinson, A.|
|Baldwin-Webb, Col. J.||Davies, C. (Montgomery)||Horsbrugh, Florence|
|Balfour, G. (Hampstead)||De la Bere, R.||Howitt, Dr. A. B.|
|Balfour, Capt. H. H. (Isle of Thanet)||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.)|
|Baxter, A. Beverley||Denville, Alfred||Hume, Sir G. H.|
|Beauchamp, Sir B. C.||Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F.||Hunter, T.|
|Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h)||Doland, G. F.||Hutchinson, G. C.|
|Beechman, N. A.||Donner, P. W.||Jams, Sir J. J.|
|Bernays, R. H.||Duckworth, Arthur (Shrewsbury)||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (S'k N'w'gt'n)|
|Blair, Sir R.||Dugdale, Captain T. L.||Jones, L. (Swansea W.)|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Eckersley, P. T.||Keeling, E. H.|
|Bossom, A. C.||Edmondson, Major Sir J.||Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose)|
|Boulton, W. W.||Ellis, Sir G.||Kerr, J. Graham (Scottish Univs.)|
|Boyce, H. Leslie||Elliston, Capt. G. S.||Kimball, L.|
|Bracken, B.||Emery, J. F.||Knox, Major-General Sir A. W. F.|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N. (Buckrose)||Entwistle, Sir C. F.||Lamb, Sir J. Q.|
|Braithwaite, J. Gurney (Holderness)||Errington, E.||Lancaster, Captain C. G.|
|Briscoe, Capt. R. G.||Evans, Capt. A. (Cardiff, S.)||Latham, Sir P.|
|Broadbridge, Sir G. T.||Everard, Sir William Lindsay||Law, R. K. (Hull, S.W.)|
|Brocklebank, Sir Edmund||Fildes, Sir H.||Leech, Sir J. W.|
|Brooke, H. (Lewisham, W.)||Findlay, Sir E.||Leighton, Major B. E. P.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith)||Fleming, E. L.||Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L.|
|Brown, Brie-Gen. H. C. (Newbury)||Fox, Sir G. W. G.||Levy, T.|
|Bull, B. B.||Furness, S. N.||Lewis, O.|
|Burghley, Lord||Fyfe, D. P. M.||Liddall, W. S.|
|Butcher, H. W.||Gluckstein, L. H.||Lipson, D. L.|
|Cartland, J. R. H.||Glyn, Major Sir R. G. C.||Little, Sir E. Graham-|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Goldie, N. B.||Llewellin, Colonel J. J.|
|Channon, H.||Grant-Ferris, Flight-Lieutenant R.||Locker-Lampson, Comdr. O. S.|
|Chapman, Sir S. (Edinburgh, S.)||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Loftus, P. C.|
|Clarke, Colonel R. S. (E. Grinstead)||Gridley, Sir A. B.||Lyons, A. M.|
|Cobb, Captain E. C. (Preston)||Grin, Sir E. W. M.||Mabane, W. (Huddersfield)|
|Colfox, Major W. P.||Grimston, R. V.||MacAndrew, Colonel Sir C. G.|
|Colville, Rt. Hon. John||Guest, Maj. Hon. O. (C'mb'rw'll, N.W.)||Maclay, Hon. J. P.|
|Cook, Sir T. R. A. M. (Norfolk, N.)||Gunston, Capt. Sir D. W.||Maitland, Sir Adam|
|Cooper, Rt. Hn. A. Duff (W'st'r S.G'gs)||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Sir D. H.||Makins, Brigadier-General Sir Ernest|
|Manningham-Buller, Sir M.||Rayner, Major R. H.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir M. F.|
|Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Reed, A. C. (Exeter)||Sutcliffe, H.|
|Maxwell, Hon. S. A.||Reed, Sir H. S. (Aylesbury)||Tasker, Sir R. I.|
|Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J.||Reid, J. S. C. (Hillhead)||Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)|
|Medlicott, F.||Reid, W. Allan (Derby)||Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (Padd., S.)|
|Meller, Sir R. J. (Mitcham)||Rickards, G. W. (Skipton)||Thomas, J. P. L.|
|Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth)||Ropner, Colonel L.||Thomson, Sir J. D. W.|
|Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Rosbotham, Sir T.||Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.|
|Mitchell, H. (Brentford and Chiswick)||Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge)||Titchfield, Marquess of|
|Mitcheson, Sir G. G.||Rowlands, G.||Touche, G. C.|
|Morgan, R. H. (Worcester, Stourbridge)||Royds, Admiral Sir P. M. R.||Tree, A. R. L. F.|
|Morris-Jones, Sir Henry||Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury)||Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.|
|Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's.)||Russell, S. H. M. (Darwen)||Turton, R. H.|
|Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester)||Salt, E. W.||Wakefield, W. W.|
|Muirhead, Lt.-Col. A. J.||Samuel, M. R. A.||Walker-Smith, Sir J.|
|Nall, Sir J.||Sandeman, Sir N. S.||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Neven-Spence, Major B. H. H.||Schuster, Sir G. E.||Ward, Irene M. B. (Wallsend)|
|Nicholson, G. (Farnham)||Selley, H. R.||Warrender, Sir V.|
|Nicolson, Hon. H. G.||Shakespeare, G. H.||Waterhouse, Captain C.|
|O'Connor, Sir Terence J.||Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)||Watt, Lt.-Col. G. S. Harvie|
|Orr-Ewing, I. L.||Shepperson, Sir E. W.||Wayland, Sir W. A|
|Peake, O.||Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen)||Wells, Sir Sydney|
|Perkins, W. R. D.||Snadden, W. McN.||Whiteley, Major J. P. (Buckingham)|
|Peters, Dr. S. J.||Somervell, Rt. Hon. Sir Donald||Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.|
|Petherick, M.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)||Williams, C. (Torquay)|
|Pensonby, Col. C. E.||Southby, Commander Sir A. R. J.||Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Porritt, R. W.||Spans, W. P.||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Pownall, Lt.-Col. Sir Assheton||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'm'l'd)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel G.|
|Procter, Major H. A.||Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.)||Wragg, H.|
|Purbrick, R.||Storey, S.||York, C.|
|Radford, E. A.||Stourton, Major Hon. J. J.||Young, A. S. L. (Partick)|
|Ramsbotham, H.||Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)|
|Rankin, Sir R.||Strickland, Captain W. F.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||Mr. Munro and Captain McEwen.|
§ 8.56 p.m.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I beg to move, in page 7, line 40, at the end, to insert:and where such a notice has been served on any person, the Minister may, at any time while that person remains liable to be called up for military training under this Act, cancel the notice or cause to be served on him a further notice varying the original notice by altering the place or time at which he is thereby required to submit himself to medical examination.The object of the Amendment is in part to meet the point put forward by the hon. Member for Hemsworth (Mr. G. Griffiths), who seemed a little uncertain about the intention of the Amendment next after the one which has just been disposed of. I should like to assure him that the Amendment which was moved by the hon. Member for Sea-ham (Mr. Shinwell) in a slightly different form preceded the one which I am now moving but which is actually on the Paper as the first to be proposed to the Clause. It was a very natural mistake. The object of the Amendment is to enable a medical notice to be cancelled and another notice, varying the original notice if need be, to be issued. This is a power which, under Clause 5, the Committee will be asked to pass in regard to the ordinary calling-up notice, and it seems desirable that the same provision should apply to medical notices. This power will obviously be to the advantage 804 of the authorities and very often even more so to the individual applicant.
§ 8.58 p.m.
§ Mr. Shinwell
I should like for the purpose of elucidation to ask the Minister in what conditions he envisages this Amendment being required to operate. I cannot conceive of any conditions in which a medical notice might be varied, unless in a wholesale fashion in relation to a large number of men. For example, if a man received a notice calling him up for medical examination at a particular time and to a particular place, and if in the course of two or three days he received a notice cancelling the original notice and asking him to appear on another day and time at another place, it might create a feeling of uncertainty, although we know there is no specific provision as to the period which should elapse between the notice being served and the appearance of a man before a medical board. I hope that no such feeling of uncertainty will be created by the Minister by a provision of this kind. I should like to know whether the Minister visualises variation or cancellation in a wholesale fashion of these notices or whether the Amendment is intended to apply to individuals.
§ 9.0 p.m.
§ Mr. G. Griffiths
Is this not a case of suiting the convenience of the medical boards and not that of the persons con- 805 cerned? The Amendment says that the Minister shall have the power, but it does not state that variation shall take place on the application of the person who has received the notice. A person gets a notice, and unless the Minister cancels that notice and gives him a chance to appear on a date favourable to himself he has to go at the Minister's convenience or at the convenience of the board. I hope the Minister will make this matter a little clearer.
§ Mr. Richards
What is the extent of the period during which a person remains liable to be called? May that period extend in certain cases to six months? Is he liable to have a notice, have it withdrawn, have a new notice, have that withdrawn, and then a new notice again? For what length of time can that procedure be adopted?
§ 9.1 p.m.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I assure the hon. Member who has just spoken and the hon. Member for Hemsworth (Mr. G. Griffiths) that they are unduly apprehensive. There is nothing sinister in this proposal at all, and the same provision is proposed for Clause 5. It may well be that a postponement or variation is desirable from the point of view of the board or of the individual applicant. Circumstances might arise to make it impossible for the medical board to interview applicants on a particular occasion. It is not in the least likely that that would happen frequently—indeed it may never happen. But, for instance, some important members of the board may be taken ill. Under the existing position there would be no power to send out a different summons from the medical board. As to the applicant, he may find it impossible or highly inconvenient to attend, or he may be ill, and in those cases it would be impossible for him to attend in response to a communication received from the medical board. The medical board must be enabled to send out another notice summoning the man to attend. The board would be unduly handicapped were there no provision of this kind, and the interest of the man himself, in respect of which the hon. Member for Hemsworth is right to be solicitous, would not be met.
§ 9.3 p.m.
§ Mr. Messer
I understood when we were on the other Amendment that I should hear why it could not be accepted, but I 806 have not had my doubts set at rest by the explanation which I have just heard. I assume that the notices will be posted; every hon. Member knows that when a letter has been wrongly addressed it takes more than 10 days to come back from its wrong destination, by way of the Returned Letter Office, to the sender. Consequently, there will be people to whom calling-up notices have been wrongly addressed and who will not have received the notices. I understand they will be liable in regard to the notices which they have not received. The Amendment which the Minister has moved might cover that point but his explanation does not do so.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
When the letter comes back, the sender will realise that it has not been received.
§ Mr. Shinwell
It is not clear yet what is the purpose of this provision. The hon. Gentleman said, in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Hemsworth (Mr. G. Griffiths), that it was intended to enable fresh notices to be sent by medical boards if some person were unable to attend or if a member of the board could not be present. Surely this Amendment is not intended to meet only those cases. Are we to understand that there is no other purpose?
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
A man may be liable to pay a fine for not responding to a summons. It is obviously desirable to be able to send another summons to prove beyond doubt the readiness of the man to respond. Such a provision is in the interests of the applicant as well as of the medical board, and it means nothing more than that.
§ Mr. McGovern
Is not the individual required to sign something to prove that he has received the notice?
§ 9.5 p.m.
§ Mr. Poole
Is the Minister, in seeking power to issue a further notice to amend a previous notice, prepared to accept responsibility for any loss of time or wages that the individual may suffer as a result of the alteration of the notice? It is the practice in many cases for men to have to make application for leave of absence, and such application may have to be made as long as seven days beforehand. The man may have obtained leave for a particular day, and on the day before, or even on the morning of the same day, may receive an amending notice saying that he is not required on that day. Will the Minister reimburse him for his consequent loss of wages?
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I could not accept full responsibility in the way that the hon. Member suggests, but the Minister has a general power to meet loss of remunerative time, and there is no reason to assume that if a man, through no fault of his own, arrived when the medical board was not sitting, because he had not received the cancelling notice in time, quite obviously he would have lost remunerative time.
§ Mr. Poole
But what will happen if, even though he may not turn up, he does not receive the amending notice in time to cancel the leave of absence which has been given him? Will he be compensated for that loss of time and also for his loss of time in attending on the day when he is actually required?
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
That question is too hypothetical for a categorical answer. I think it might be left to the Minister to see that, if people lose remunerative time, they are not penalised.
§ 9.7 p.m.
§ Mr. McEntee
I do not feel that the hon. Gentleman's answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Wrexham (Mr. Richards) is sufficient. He says that there is nothing sinister about the Clause, but the hon. Gentleman himself was attached to a very sinister organisation at the time of his appointment to his present office, and I remember that the matter was raised in the House.
§ Mr. McEntee
I think he has mended his ways, but what I have in mind is that this Measure may be administered by people some years hence, and, although the present Minister and Parliamentary Secretary may be quite genuine in their desire that it should be administered in the way they say, and although there may be nothing sinister so far as they are concerned, it may be administered in a sinister way by someone who wants to be sinister at some time in the future, and I think a definite guarantee ought to be given against such a possibility. I am not at all satisfied with the words it is proposed to insert, and I think the matter ought to be further considered with a view to preventing the possibility of a man being called up over and over again.
§ Mr. Cartland
I notice that the Amendment gives power to vary the notice by altering the place or the time. Does that mean that the place and the time can be varied?
§ 9.9 p.m.
§ Mr. A. Jenkins
The Minister is seeking to gather to himself all the power in connection with this Measure, and the individual, apparently, will receive no rights at all. The whole discretion in the matter will be placed in the hands of the Minister, and I do not think that that is quite fair to the individual. Some people may be prepared to trust certain Ministers, and undoubtedly there are some who would not trust any Minister, but in any case the House ought to have more power over a case of this kind than it will have if the Amendment is passed. I understand that the notice is to be served in the ordinary way by delivering a letter, and the person to whom it is addressed has not to sign for its receipt, but if he does not turn up in accordance with the notice for medical examination, he is liable to prosecution, and I take it that the onus would be upon him to prove that he had not received the notice. If that is not so, perhaps the Parliamentary Secretary will tell us, but clearly by this Amendment the Minister is taking to himself absolute power of discretion and the individual has no rights at all. I think it is now clear why the Minister declined to accept the previous Amendment asking 809 for 10 days' notice. He talked about two days' notice, and the maximum distance we have been able to get in extracting anything from the Minister is that under the regulations the Minister may have one day's or two days' notice or more according to the discretion of the Minister. I think it ought to be made much more definite, and I would like the Parliamentary Secretary to say what is to be the attitude with regard to the person who has not received notice to attend a medical tribunal when it is alleged by the military authority, whoever it may be, that the notice has been sent to him.
§ 9.11 p.m.
§ Sir Alan Anderson
Several Members of the Committee appear to be alarmed about the measure of discretion that the Minister is reserving to himself to meet hard cases. In this life we are liable in almost every direction to grave injury from the action of an insane or tyrannical Minister, and we cannot always provide against that. We allow Ministers much latitude, and generally we do not suffer from doing so. In this matter of notice we are liable in our ordinary lives to enormous inconvenience through not having sufficient notice, but it does not happen generally. I do not suppose that one hon. Member out of 10 knows how much notice must be given to him before he is summoned on a jury, or, if he has a little difficulty with the police about driving his car, what notice has to be served upon him, and yet we are not put into really grave difficulty because of it. In this matter, which is going to touch all of us so closely, it will be very easy for the Minister to avoid difficulties, and he is asking us to allow him latitude with regard to the giving of this notice. I suggest that we might take our courage in both hands and let him have his latitude.
§ 9.13 p.m.
§ Mr. J. Hall
I understood the Parliamentary Secretary to say that one of the reasons why power is being sought to make these alterations is that in the event of a young man not being able to attend for medical examination on the day notified an opportunity would be given him to attend on another day. I wonder whether that indicates that some clemency is going to be exercised instead of putting into operation the penal provision in Clause 3 in case of failure to comply with 810 the regulation. Are we to assume that instead of that penal provision operating a measure of clemency will be exercised and if so is the Minister prepared on Report to put in words indicating that the clemency which he suggested in introducing the Amendment will operate in all these cases.
§ 9.15 p.m.
§ Captain Heilgers
The hon. Member for Pontypool (Mr. A. Jenkins), who mentioned the question of prosecution under Sub-section (3), seemed to me to be on the wrong tack. Surely, by this Amendment, the Government are preventing the possibility of anyone being prosecuted if he fails to turn up at the medical tribunal on the first occasion. Therefore, they are saving the applicant. Perhaps I might relate an experience of my own. During the War, I was unable to attend a medical board, in consequence of having contracted influenza. I was given another chance by that board, and, as a result, I got two months' extra leave.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ 9.16 p.m.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I beg to move, in page 8, to leave out lines 1 to 3.
This is purely a drafting Amendment. A person not liable for military training is not liable for medical examination. Conscientious objectors are not liable for military training; and, therefore, they are not liable for medical examination.
§ 9.17 p.m.
§ Mr. Batey
We need a far fuller explanation from the Minister as to why these lines are to be deleted. These three lines are in the interests of the conscientious objector. The deletion will mean that a notice may be served on the conscientious objector, whereas that cannot be done now. A conscientious objector might then have notice served on him every three months. If he has once been placed on the register, notice should not be served on him again.
§ 9.18 p.m.
§ Mr. Messer
It is clear that these lines in the Clause are an added safeguard. It is conceivable that there will be mistakes—a thing that is not unknown with Government Departments—and it is desirable that those who have been through the experience of appearing before the tribunal should have the safeguard of 811 being able to point to the law, in order to show that they ought not to have been summoned again. If this does not appear in the Act, there is nothing to prevent notice being sent to conscientious objectors, and the penalties provided for those who do not respond to the notice will operate, notwithstanding that exemption has been granted. It is very important that this paragraph should remain, in the interests of conscientious objectors.
§ 9.19 p.m.
§ Mr. Shinwell
We are entitled to a great deal more information. The Clause says:Provided that a notice under this Subsection shall not be served on any person whose name appears in the register of conscientious objectors.This is quite specific in its intention. Why is it to be withdrawn? The Parliamentary Secretary—who has left his place; probably for a good reason—has stated that this is merely a drafting Amendment. Surely it cannot be merely a drafting Amendment. He said that it was no longer necessary. Are we to understand that, in the absence of this negative provision, there is within this Bill, in some Clause which for the moment appears to be obscure, provision that the Minister, in his discretion, could serve such a notice on a person who has registered as a conscientious objector?
§ Mr. Shinwell
Then why should this provision be removed? Why not be specific, and make it clear, beyond all possibility of doubt, that a person registered as a conscientious objector shall not be served with a notice to be called up for medical examination?
§ 9.21 p.m.
§ Mr. McEntee
I would like to know the meaning of the words in the Clause. The Clause says:The Minister may cause to be served on any person liable to be called up for military training …Does that include conscientious objectors of between 20 and 21? If so, the words which it is proposed to leave out should remain in the Bill. If, on the other hand, that excludes conscientious objectors, I can see the point of view of the Minister. But it would appear to me that the term, 812any person liable to be called up for military trainingincludes every one between the age of 20 and 21. Let me draw attention to the word "any." The Minister has power to call up everybody who is liable for military training, with the proviso that:notice under this Sub-section shall not be served on any person whose name appears in the register of conscientious objectors.If the Minister can assure us that the provisions of the Clause do not apply to conscientious objectors, I should think that he is right in bringing forward the Amendment; but I have very great doubt about it.
§ 9.23 p.m.
§ Mr. W. S. Morrison
I hope to convince the Committee that my hon. Friend was right in saying that this is a purely drafting Amendment, designed to remove words which are quite unnecessary. Clause 3 lays down, in distinct terms, thatA person shall not be liable to be called up for military training under this Act, so long as he is registered in the register of conscientious objectorsThat makes it clear that conscientious objectors are not liable to be called up. The Clause with which we are dealing excludes all who are not liable to be called up for military training—for example, conscientious objectors. If hon. Members will look back to Clause 3, Sub-section (5), which we have already passed, they will see all these registers referred to. There are three distinctly mentioned. (a) The applicant may be placed finally on the register of conscientious objectors. That will make him quite free from being called up for military service, (b) He may be conditionally placed on that register, and called up for work of national importance, (c) He may be registered in the military training register for non-combatant duties only. If he is registered in the register of conscientious objectors, even though there is a condition that is attached to it, that is the register he is on and, under Sub-section (7), he cannot be called up for military service. If he is registered in the military training register as a person liable to be employed only on non-combatant duties, he can be called up for medical examination, and it is highly proper that he should be, because a man employed on non-combatant duties has as much right to have it ascertained that his health 813 will stand it as anyone else. I hope now that the Committee is quite satisfied that the Minister has power to call up only those who are liable for military service. These are the governing words at the start of the Clause and, as the two sections of conscientious objectors are not liable, they cannot be asked to come up. The words are surplus and should be removed.
§ Mr. McGovern
If the tribunal decides that a man is not a real conscientious objector, can he be removed from the roll of conscientious objectors and placed on the military roll, and can he then be called up?
§ Mr. Butcher
I wonder what would be the position of men conditionally registered that they must engage in and perform some work designated in the Order as being of national importance. It seems to me that it is desirable to make sure that the work so designated shall be within their health and strength.
§ Mr. W. S. Morrison
The position of a man who is registered in the register of conscientious objectors with a condition attached to it is that as long as he is on the register he cannot be called up for military training. There is a provision already passed saying what happens to a man who fails to comply with the conditions. He has a right of appeal to the appellate tribunal just as if he were being taken for the first time, but as long as he is on the register of conscientious objectors, whether conditionally or unconditionally, he cannot be called up. If these words were left in it would not make any difference to the hon. Member's point because the words are, "No notice shall be served on any person whose name appears on the register of conscientious objectors."
§ Mr. McGovern
Supposing a man appeared before the tribunal and was turned down and refused to accept any form of service, could he then be placed on the military role? If so, this will be giving you a power that you did not possess previously to call him up for medical examination.
§ Mr. W. S. Morrison
If the tribunal decided against him, either by saying that he was not a conscientious objector at all or that he ought to be put in one section of the conscientious objector's register, if he appealed and the decision of the 814 tribunal was upheld that he was not a conscientious objector at all, he would be placed on the military role. The point about men who are conscientious objectors with a condition attached to it is one that is new to me, in the sense that I have not given much thought to it, but I think it would be a matter very difficult to legislate for as a general rule, because the varieties of national service are very great and, whereas military training should be preceded by medical examination, it might not be so necessary in other forms of service.
§ Mr. Butcher
I was only wondering whether the Minister would have power to designate the work of national importance in which the man should engage.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ 9.33 p.m.
§ Mr. Silkin
I beg to move, in page 8, line 5, after "boards," to insert "and an appellate medical board."
This Amendment must be read in conjunction with, and as a preliminary to, a later Amendment in my name which seeks to insert at the end of the Clause:Any person who is aggrieved by the determination of a medical board may within the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner appeal to the appellate medical board.The two Amendments together are designed to secure that a person who is not satisfied with the decision of the medical board, either because the board is seeking to say that he is fit for military training or that he is not fit for it, should have an opportunity of appealing to an appellate medical board. I recognise that the Bill has been prepared in a great hurry, and there are natural omissions, but it is strange to me that there should be an appeal in the case of a person who claims that his calling up would involve him in hardship, and in the case of a person who is a conscientious objector but who is found by a tribunal not to be one, but that there should be no appeal in the case of a person who is found by a medical board to be fit for training, but who takes the view, possibly for good reasons, that he is not so fitted.
I am wondering whether the right hon. Gentleman takes the view that the medical profession is less infallible than the members of a board set up to consider whether a person is a conscientious objector or not. Unfortunately, the Bill lays down no standard of medical fitness. 815 It does not declare what is to be the purpose of the medical examination, whether a person is to be fit for military training or whether he is to be fit for military service. The two standards may be quite different, according to whether you desire persons merely to undergo training or whether they are to be regarded as subsequently fit for military service. I can see the possibility of a person being regarded as medically fit for traniing but not medically fit for active service. At any rate, the Bill lays down no standard which the medical boards are to consider in examining the men who come before them. As the right hon. Gentleman said, there are to be 120 different medical boards, and in the absence of any direction it is conceivable that there will be a variety of standards which the medical boards will adopt in examining men that come before them. I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman will agree that it is desirable that there should be a uniform standard so that every person who is called up for medical examination will know the purpose of the examination and the standard that will be laid down by the board.
It is proposed within a very short time and under great stress to examine something like 300,000 men, and if that figure is correct it will mean that on the average every medical board will examine something like 2,500 men. I have comfidence in the medical profession, but I do not think that anyone in this Committee, not even members of the medical profession themselves, would claim that doctors cannot make mistakes, and a board which has to examine something like 2,500 men under great stress will be liable to make serious mistakes. I do not wish to impugn the honesty of the medical boards, but they have been given some sort of indication in this Bill as to what they are to work to. They are being told that they are expected to produce two men out of every three. They will be examining 300,000 men, and this Bill states that they are to find 200,000 fit men. Medical boards will tend to work on something like that basis and accept at least two men out of three, and they will possibly be on the safe side. That is the test that has been put before them in the Bill itself. Therefore, I suggest that for all these 816 reasons, it is essential that the man who considers that he has been aggrieved by the decision of a medical board should have an opportunity of going to some higher tribunal as have men who are aggrieved by other decisions on earlier Clauses. The advantage of an appellate medical board would, among other things, be that they would be able to deal with these case on a uniform basis. There would not be the disadvantage of having 120 different medical boards with the possibility of varying standards of fitness being laid down by the different boards. In some diseases—and I would mention heart disease as one—there are great possibilities of differences of opinion arising between different medical men. A person who may have suffered from heart disease for years may come before a medical board for examination, and quite likely, in the hurry of his examination the medical board may not ascertain or discover that such a person has heart trouble. In cases like that, even if in no other, persons should have the opportunity of being able to put their position before an appellate board, with such evidence as the Minister may prescribe in the rules to be followed by the medical boards, possibly the production of a medical certificate or something of that sort. In cases where there is the possibility of a genuine difference of opinion between different medical men, a person liable to be called upon to undergo what might be a very strenuous course of training which might detrimentally affect his health should have an opportunity of putting his case before an appellate medical board. For these reasons, I hope that the Minister will see his way to accept the principle of setting up an appellate medical board in cases where a person feels himself aggrieved by the decision of the medical board.
§ 9.42 p.m.
§ Dr. Haden Guest
I should like to support the Amendment, if not entirely for the same reasons as my hon. Friend, at any rate for some of them. I think that the Minister will find that it will be essential in practice to have appellate boards, not only from the standpoint of the man who is being examined but also from the standpoint of the medical board itself. There are, as my hon. Friend mentioned, cases of heart disease, and also of eye trouble, ear trouble and other special complaints, and it is really a question of 817 having a consultant service available, and the simplest way, from the Army point of view, is to have an appellate medical board. There should be a superior medical board to which either the appellant, if he is not satisfied—and I confess that I do not think it will be likely to happen in a great many cases—can appeal or, on the other hand, the medical officers themselves constituting the board can appeal if they have very difficult cases with which to deal. I know that to be the fact because I have had two classes of experience relating to this matter.
Once for a short time I was medical officer to reinforcements at Etaples during the War, and it was part of my duties to inspect drafts which had been sent over from England. A large number of men sent over from England at that time were in a very bad state of health and had obviously been rushed over there. There ought to be some check on that sort of thing. It was due, no doubt, to pressure at that time, and the same pressure would not arise in present circumstances. Secondly, after the War I was for a considerable period a member of the Pensions Appeal Tribunal of the House of Lords which had to consider cases of appeal from decisions of the Ministry of Pensions. In many of those cases we had to go into very delicate matters as far as diagnosis was concerned. They were very difficult cases, and we spent a great deal of time upon them and subjected individuals concerned to X-ray examination, and so forth, which cannot be done in the ordinary way. From the standpoint of the appellant, and of the doctors who make up the medical boards, it really will be essential to have some tribunal of that kind to which either side can refer and can appeal.
It would also be very interesting if the Minister could tell us something of what the medical standards are to be. Are they to be the standards which are set up for admission into the Army, or are they to be some other standards? There will certainly be standards of medical fitness, because no one, least of all the medical profession, wants to have people joining the Army who promptly become casualties, but it would be interesting if we could have, if not now, on some appropriate occasion, some description of what the physical standards will be. It will be possible now for the first time, taking 818 a cross section of the population from 20 to 21, to get a view of what the conditions are of those people who were born in the immediate post-war years, and that will be an extremely interesting test from the medical point of view. One point on which I did not agree with my hon. Friend was when he said that the medical boards might be working to a standard of trying to pass two out of every three men appearing before them. I think that the medical profession is rather more objective than that, and that the doctors who are examining these people will try to be quite objective and fair, but however fair and objective they are, there are always questions of doubt, and for the sake of the boards themselves, as well as for the sake of those who are being examined, I think an appeal tribunal would be a distinct advantage.
§ 9.47 p.m.
§ Dr. Summerskill
I wish to endorse everything that has been said by my hon. Friends the Members for Peckham (Mr. Silkin) and North Islington (Dr. Guest). I feel not only that the Government should accept this Amendment, but that they should welcome it, because by giving these men an opportunity to appeal, you are only giving them an elementary right which is enjoyed by every worker in the country to-day. I feel that a man who has been diagnosed as unfit, or as fit, should have a right of appeal. We are not only seeking to give a man who is fit an opportunity to appeal, but we are also seeking to give the young enthusiastic lad who is very anxious to play his part, but who has been diagnosed as unfit, an opportunity to appeal against a diagnosis which he may consider as wrong. I fully agree with the hon. Member for Peckham when he said that these doctors may make a mis-diagnosis because they are overwhelmed with work, and I am sure that every conscientious doctor will feel much happier during these examinations if he knows that the patient has a right to appeal. If any hon. Member of this House were examined to-morrow and told that he had some grave physical defect, I am sure he would not accept that verdict without immediately going to Harley Street and getting a second opinion.
§ Dr. Summerskill
Certainly, the best doctors are not necessarily all in Harley 819 Street. This Bill is based on the assumption that the medical profession is infallible, and if the Government do not accept the Amendment, they are in fact making these doctors the arbiters of the fate of these men. I well remember the Cancer Bill that was discussed in this House recently, when hon. Members on both sides of the House got up and protested against the Bill having a Second Reading, and they illustrated their arguments by quoting cases of mis-diagnosis which they had known during their lifetime. Therefore, I ask the Minister to accept this Amendment, because if the Bill is allowed to go through in its present form, many men who may perhaps feel that they have not had a square deal from the medical profession will suffer from a sense of grievance.
§ 9.50 p.m.
§ Major Milner
It is rarely that I find myself altogether in agreement with members of the medical profession, and I press this matter of an appellate tribunal because my hon. Friend the Member for North Islington (Dr. Guest) was very strongly in favour of it. I remember some years ago appearing on a pension appeal before him, when he gave a verdict against me, and I was very strongly of opinion that I ought on that occasion to have had the opportunity to appeal. In my experience the opinions of the medical profession are as varied as the colours in the spectrum, and in these matters it is surely not only necessary that justice should be done, but that it should appear to the common mind to be done. In my view, therefore, it is essential that there should be an appeal tribunal. Even my hon. Friend the Member for West Fulham (Dr. Summerskill) must, I think, agree that the knowledge of the medical profession is really only comparative. They know a little more than they knew a thousand years ago, but there is still a great deal more to be known. The profession of the law, of course, has a great advantage, because the law is an exact science, which medicine is not. Seriously, however, I hope the Minister will see his way to accept the Amendment. It is extremely desirable in matters of opinion that there should be an opportunity to appeal. I do not think the question need be laboured, but I strongly support the Amendment.
§ 9.53 p.m.
§ Mr. W. S. Morrison
Perhaps it might be for the convenience of the Committee if I state the view that the Government take on this matter now, so that the Committee shall not have to go on discussing this question without having the other side of the matter put before it. It is always best to get both sides of a question of this character. It is from no difference as to the object which the movers of the Amendment seek that the Government advise the Committee to take a contrary course. We believe that rather than have one board and an appeal thereto, you ought to concentrate on getting the strongest possible boards in the first instance, examining the men with as much care as possible in the first instance, and, indeed, if you do that, it is very hard to find any medical authority to which a properly constituted board could be considered as inferior enough to appeal. This is a matter—though I admit that there have been difficulties in drafting, through lack of time—of policy, come to on its merits by the Government, because they hold the other view to be the better one.
Let me remove one or two misapprehensions that have been entertained. I am sure that the medical profession would not enjoy the suggestion of the hon. Member for Peckham (Mr. Silkin) that they would take two out of three, no matter what they thought of the men. I believe the honour of the profession to be such that they will take quite a different view of their responsibilities and will treat it as their duty not to put any man into the Service unless they honestly believe that he is fit to undergo his training. The next point is the assumption that there will be a considerable amount of stress and strain about these examinations. I would remind hon. Members that nothing like war-time conditions will prevail in this case and steps will be taken to make sure that every man is examined with ample time to spare, and the Bill makes it clear that if the board have not time to complete an examination in one day, they can go on to another day.
What is the position? What is the reason for having a medical examination? From the man's point of view, it is to secure that nobody is subjected to military training unless he has been examined carefully to make sure that there is no 821 concealed or other defect in his constitution which would render it dangerous to him or bad for his health to undergo that training. If you have a board such as I have described, I do not think that to rely on a system of appeals would be the right way. It is not everyone who would appeal, and I submit that we should rely not upon appeal as a check, but upon creating the strongest possible board in the first instance, and making sure that every man is thoroughly examined. That is the course which we propose to adopt. The medical men on the board will, normally, be five general practitioners of established reputation. I say general practitioners for this reason. The ills to which flesh is heir are so numerous that you could not, for instance, get a nose, ear and throat specialist to act, and make sure that he was a proper man to deal with all these cases. There may be nothing wrong with the nose, ear or throat of the person who is being examined, but he may have some concealed defect of a different character. Therefore, we propose a strong board of five general practitioners who, though they may not have specialist knowledge, have in the course of their experience gained a wide knowledge of all the ills from which the human constitution can suffer. One of the five is almost certain to spot anything wrong with any man coming before them.
§ Mr. Silkin
Will there be a definite direction that every member of the board will see every person who is examined, or is it likely that a person going up for examination will be seen by only one of the five?
§ Mr. Morrison
I understand that what is proposed is a board of at least five who will work as a team. They will take counsel with each other and if there is any difficulty in distinguishing a man's particular condition, they can all examine him to make sure.
§ Mr. Malcolm MacMillan
The Minister used the expression "at least five." Is it intended that there shall always be five?
§ Mr. Morrison
The intention is that five shall be the normal number. But if one of the medical men could not turn up on a particular occasion and there were only four, I should not like it to be thought that that would invalidate the examination. The normal number, however, will 822 be five. Not only are there to be five general practitioners, but there is power in the Bill for them to call in a consultant or consultants, whenever they like.
§ Mr. Morrison
The idea is that if the medical officers on the board are confronted with some particular trouble or difficulty on which they would like to have the advice of a specialist, there is a provision in the Bill enabling them to take that advice. If we start from the assumption that we are taking every step to secure the strongest possible medical board in the first instance, I ask the Committee to consider what follows. The question then arises, where can you find an appellate body to which you could appeal from such a board? In the case or the law, to correct the errors of one court you set up an appellate court, composed of men probably of longer experience and greater knowledge of the law. In the case of the medical profession, if you have five experienced practitioners, with the advice and assistance of consultants at their disposal, examining these men, there is no appellate court which you can set up which will have any greater weight in the medical profession. There is no such thing as a body of medical opinion to which you can appeal as a higher authority on this matter of examining men, than the medical board itself. There is no question of two levels of knowledge in this matter. There is only one, and that is the best medical knowledge that can be achieved.
§ Dr. Summerskill
Suppose that the five general practitioners disagree on the condition of a man's heart and call in a heart specialist or consultant. Suppose the consultant diagnoses the case and makes a report on the man's condition. Then you will be taking the word of one man. We suggest that possibly that heart consultant might be wrong. Why should one heart consultant have the final word?
I understand the Minister to suggest that the board should have the right to call in consultants. I think that might so some way to meet us on the question of the appellate board, but it is a one-sided arrangement. The medical board has the right to call in a consultant. 823 Would it not be fair that the man, if dissatisfied, should have the right to ask to be sent to a consultant if he had reason to think that there was something wrong with him which had not been diagnosed on the first examination? I do not say that such cases would occur often, but that would give the man a feeling of security if he could be sent either to a consultant of his own choice, or one chosen from a panel. If the Minister gives this right on one side, he should give it on both sides.
§ Mr. W. S. Morrison
The hon. Lady the Member for West Fulham (Dr. Summerskill) suggests that the consultant might be mistaken. The capacity for human error is no doubt infinite, and even if you had an appellate tribunal of doctors they might all be wrong. I do not deny that this is a theoretical possibility. The hon. and gallant member for South-East Leeds (Major Milner) referred to another profession with a higher degree of infallibility. Both professions, however, make mistakes, the difference being that the mistakes of one are buried six feet underground, while the mistakes of the other swing six feet high in the air. If you cannot achieve absolute and theoretical certainty in medical matters, you can get the highest concentration of skill and knowledge and apply it in the first instance, when the man is first before you, so that you need not wait for him to appeal about some present or latent defect. I do not see how you can set up any tribunal of greater authority than is proposed.
In regard to the point raised by the hon. Member for North Islington (Dr. Guest), namely, that besides allowing the board the right of appeal to a consultant we might consider the advisability of the man having that right of recourse, it is a new idea and I will certainly consider it, because I am anxious to meet as far as possible any just feelings in this matter. But I frankly say that the conception we have is that a medical board of general practitioners, together with consultants, will consider themselves as charged in conscience to look after the interests of the man in the first instance. It is not a question of anyone having an appeal against them as if they were a hostile body. The fact is that they themselves will, in the public interest, in the interest 824 of their own profession and certainly in the interests of the man, so execute their task as to safeguard all interests. Those are the considerations which influence us, and I hope that with that assurance the hon. Member will not press the Amendment.
§ 10.8 p.m.
§ Mr. Paling
I think really the answer to this Amendment has been given on a previous Amendment to the last Clause. That was in regard to the appeal that the Minister had and the man himself had not. If I remember aright, speakers on the other side admitted that for the Minister to have a right of appeal and the man not to have such a right, was unfair, and because of that unfairness the Minister gave way and accepted our Amendment. Now the same principle is involved. It is proposed to give a right of appeal to the medical board and not to the man. The board, strong as they will be, are to have the right to send a man to a consultant, but the man himself is not to have the right of appeal. If it was right for the Minister to give way on the previous Clause, I think it is equally right on this.
While I have every respect for the general practitioners and for the great part they play in our lives, it may well be, and it is so, that the knowledge and experience of the general practitioner does not allow him to be able to diagnose a good many of the ailments from which people suffer. That is recognised by virtue of the fact that the board have the right to send a man to a consultant. If a board of five is liable to make a mistake, then I think the man ought to have the right of appeal against them. I hope the Minister will look at the matter from that point of view. I do not see it could do the Government any harm from the point of view of getting men. I think it would probably do them a lot of good. I hope the Minister will see the reasonableness of the Amendment and give the right of appeal to both sides.
§ 10.11 p.m.
§ Mr. Poole
It is a remarkable argument that has been advanced by the Minister. He said that even if we had this court of appeal they might all be wrong. Surely, if there is the possibility of the appellate court being wrong, there would be less likely to be an error of diagnosis than if the diagnosis were left 825 completely in the hands of the initial body. I should like the Minister to consider the procedure he has adopted in other parts of the Bill. He says they are going to make the initial medical examination so fundamentally certain and sure and they are going to do the very best to ensure that there is absolutely no error committed by the body who will examine the man, that there will be no need of appeal. Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that in making that assertion he is drawing a very invidious comparison with other provisions in the Bill? He tells us that that the examination is to be made by a body so fundamentally capable that there is no need for subsequent appeal, and yet when he establishes a court to consider the conscientious objections of an individual he is giving the man a right of appeal. If there is to be an appeal on the part of the conscientious objector, I cannot conceive how the Minister can advance an argument that when a man is medically examined the examination will make it absolutely unnecessary to have any court of appeal.
It is in the interests of the Minister and the Government that they should have absolutely sound men, beyond any doubt, in the initial stages. It will be to the greatest possible interest of the militiamen that you should have, without doubt, Ai men at the beginning. Therefore it is in the interests of all concerned that there should be this court of appeal. The Minister says that in legal affairs there is a higher court which is a more supreme authority than the lower court, and that they are able to form a judgment, but that practice is not followed in this part of the Bill. In the legal and appellate tribunals which are being set up under another Clause, you make your first tribunal as strong as possible by appointing a county court judge, with four or five members as the body, while the appellate body that is to have a more supreme authority is to be presided over by a barrister or a solicitor.
If it is necessary that there should be a court of appeal when you are examining merely the conscience of a man, is it not more fundamentally necessary that you should have a court of appeal when you are examining a man's physical state? I do not think it will be possible for every man who comes before the medical board to receive a medical examination by all the five members who compose 826 the board. If the right hon. Gentleman is hoping to achieve that, he will have achieved something which was never achieved during the last War and has never been achieved in such an examination in any of the Services. The Minister will be well advised, in the interest of the scheme as well as in the best interest of the men, to accept the Amendment and let them have this right of appeal to a court of appeal.
§ 10.16 p.m.
§ Mr. Lewis
The hon. Member for Went-worth (Mr. Paling) in supporting the Amendment said that there was provision for an appeal on the one side and that, therefore, in his view it was only fair that provision should be made for appeal on the other side. That is not the fact. There is no provision made for the Minister to appeal and, therefore, there is no appeal on the one side, and the complaint that this is a one-sided arrangement falls to the ground. If there was provision for the Minister to appeal, then it would be only right there should be provision for the man to appeal.
§ Mr. Paling
I said that in a previous case the Minister had a right of appeal and, therefore the man was also given a right of appeal. In this case the board has a right of appeal, but the man who is being examined has no right of appeal.
§ 10.17 p.m.
§ Mr. Garro Jones
I want to add one or two observations in the hope that the Minister has not closed his mind to the suggestion put forward. I think the right hon. Gentleman has lost sight of the growing tendency in medical science to rely on teams of specialists for diagnosing obscure diseases. If an hon. Member opposite thought he was suffering from some disease he would go to his general practitioner and perhaps on his recommendation would consult a specialist in Harley Street, but in the last resort, if he was really anxious about his condition, he would adopt the modern method and subject himself to a detailed diagnosis by a team of specialists in one of the modern clinics which have been established around London and other parts of the country. In this case we are not dealing with the average healthy individual or with the 827 individual who is suffering from an easily recognisable disease. In such a case I would trust a team of general practitioners. But the cases in which difficulty is going to arise and in which mistakes and disputes may arise are those where people are suffering from some obscure disease, which no amount of skill and experience will enable a general practitioner to diagnose successfully, and in which the latest developments of modern science are required.
Take the case of tuberculosis. I believe there is an X-ray system of diagnosis which proves to be conclusive when no amount of mere empirical tests will reach a decisive conclusion. Then there is the bacteriological method of diagnosis and the endocrinological method. These are the three or four different kinds of specialists who, in the last resort, are the only ones who can make an exhaustive diagnosis in the case of any particular disease. It is that type of case which, I think, if not properly diagnosed, will lead to the greatest amount of difficulty. No general practitioner and no single specialist will have the necessary equipment. These cases will not arise one in a hundred, one in two hundred, or even one in a thousand with men between 20 and 21, but when they do arise, as they do in the pensions cases, they will cause endless argument and difficulty for all the parties concerned. They can be resolved only by a team of specialists, such as that which operates at Windsor and such as the two or three in and around London. Has the right hon. Gentleman taken medical advice on this particular proposal? He has rejected the advice of my hon. Friends, but if he wishes to adopt the most up-to-date technique, he will recognise that there are certain exceptional cases—one in a hundred—in which there ought to be an appeal to a body that is more authoritative and experienced and more well equipped than any body of general practitioners or any single consultant can be. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will reconsider the matter on those lines.
§ 10.22 p.m.
§ Lieut.-Commander Agnew
I think those who support this Amendment do so very largely under a misapprehension. When the Committee were considering the Clauses relating to appeals with regard to conscientious objection, they decided 828 very properly that an appeal should lie from both sides to the appellate tribunal. The nature of the problem which the initial tribunal and the appellate tribunal have to decide is not actually a question of facts but really a question of opinion, and indeed it is not practicable to cut open a man's head to see whether he has a conscientious objection by inspecting the grey matter inside. The tribunal can only form an honest opinion and record it, and both sides are given the right to appeal in order to make sure that the opinion is the best one that can be obtained. With regard to the problem we are considering under this Clause, however, the nature of it is essentially to determine the facts.
§ Lieut.-Commander Agnew
No, but they will use—I hope the medical Members present will correct me if I am wrong—all sorts of fiendish instruments in order to discover whether a man has or has not certain ailments or inherent weaknesses.
§ Mr. Poole
Does the hon. and gallant Member agree that in many cases it is necessary for the man to be put under an anaesthetic and certain inquiries to be made into his interior in order to arrive at a correct diagnosis, and does he suggest, when he draws a parallel with cutting open a man's head in order to see what is his opinion, that the board should have power to cut open a man in order to see whether there are any internal disorders?
§ Lieut.-Commander Agnew
Of course, I do not hold that a man should be cut open in order to see whether he is fit, because I should think that any board would discover that the man was not fit if they had to resort to such a drastic process in order to make sure. The point I want to make is that it is essentially a question of facts which they have to discover. Suppose there is what I submit will be a comparatively rare case, where the board is in some genuine doubt, not as to the nature of the complaint, but as to whether the man has the complaint to such a degree that it renders him unfit for military training. Suppose that they are in genuine doubt as to whether they ought to record a decision that he is fit to be called up for service, or the reverse. 829 In such cases as that the board will not come to a decision, and that is where Sub-section (2) will come into play. The board will refer the case to the consultant examiner who will examine the man and report back to the board. Reinforced by the specialist knowledge of the consultant examiner, the board will then determine what their decision is to be. There is no appeal at all. It is merely a deferring of a decision until the additional specialist knowledge is obtained.
§ Lieut.-Commander Agnew
If the man is in doubt he will be told by the board. The man is not a doctor and will not be competent to say whether he was fit for service. I do not think anybody will seriously say that in all cases submitted to the board the man will be able to determine—
Will the hon. and gallant Member permit me as a doctor to say that any doctor who examines a man who is himself in doubt would desire for his own sake to have another opinion.
§ Lieut.-Commander Agnew
I recognise that the doctor would desire the man to have another opinion, and it is for that very reason that the Minister has announced that the board shall consist not of one person, but of five persons. Where a doubt is so great that the board feels it cannot take a decision, it is referred to a consultant examiner and, reinforced with his opinion, they come to a decision on the case. Therefore, the man's rights are preserved and the board has every opportunity of functioning as well as any medical board can.
§ 10.28 p.m.
§ Mr. Ede
My mind goes back to the period 25 to 21 years ago when I used to see medical boards functioning, and I am bound to say I did not observe that dead level of, I do not know whether it is mediocrity, or whatever the quality is that the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Duchy seems to think is the characteristic of the medical profession. I never observed it. My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for South-East Leeds (Major Milner) seemed to think there was something lacking in the diagnosis of my hon. Friend the Member for North Islington (Dr. Guest) when he came 830 before him and in those days it was alleged that doctors did vary. It is highly essential now that there should be a reasonable uniformity in these matters. I will put the case of the man who is rejected. Let us assume that he goes back to his civilian employment and applies for another job in a couple of years' time. He is asked where he did his military service and he replies that he did not do any, but that he appeared before a medical board and they turned him down. There are many callings in which that man will suffer a severe disadvantage if he has to make that answer, and I suggest that the man who is rejected may very well desire to have an opportunity of being submitted to some medical tribunal so that the question of his condition may be resolved. I wish to know exactly what instructions will be given to these boards, because I am sure the Chancellor of the Duchy will recall that towards the latter part of the War there was an order that no man was to be advanced more than one category in a day. The hon. Member for North Islington (Dr. Guest) recollects it.
§ Mr. Ede
Well, he was, I understand, at what the soldiers used to call "Eetaps." We have known of men who were paraded on three successive days. One the first day they were Category C, the next day B, and within 48 hours of having been examined they were A. Everyone with experience of what happened towards the end of the last War knows that that is a fact. Are the instructions to be that a certain standard is to be attained, or will it be said, "The quota required from the number available is so much and your proportion of the total is so many"? Those of us with experience of how the Army deals with this matter in times of stress feel that the most explicit assurances should be given on that point. I do not hold a very high opinion of the medical profession. I think veterinary surgeons have a far more difficult task. No doctor knows what is the matter with you unless you tell him. Oh, I have seen "The Citadel," and I was confirmed in my view of a good many things by the understatements of "The Citadel." After all, a veterinary surgeon has to find out what is the matter with his patient. I suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that there are good 831 grounds for our misgivings on this matter, and, as I have said frankly, I am thinking more of the man who is rejected than the man who is taken in—I do not know what the words "taken in" ought to signify but of the man who is passed. I am sure that in normal times a doctor will not pass a man who is going to fail too quickly, but if a man is rejected he may, as a result, find himself severely handicapped in civilian life afterwards. At the beginning of the last War some of the finest athletes in the country were refused for the Army. I sincerely hope that the Minister will give us a rather better answer than we have had up to the present.
§ 10.34 p.m.
§ Captain Heilgers
I am sure that the hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) is quite capable of telling the doctors what is wrong with him. Contrary to the hon. and gallant Member for Camborne (Lieut.-Commander Agnew) I am not entirely happy about this Amendment. When I was in the Army the idea of an appeal never entered into my head, but we are dealing with something that affects the whole of a man's life, and I was much impressed by the argument of the hon. Lady the Member for West Fulham (Dr. Summerskill) when she said that in ordinary life all of us when we are told something by a doctor with which we disagree immediately fly to get a second opinion. A consultant is provided for here, but while the consultant is often satisfactory to the doctors he is not necessarily satisfactory to the patient. There are to be five doctors on the tribunal, and I think they are not likely all to be wrong, in spite of what has been said. I have enough confidence in doctors to believe that when there are five of them and they are unanimous they are likely to be right.
§ Captain Heilgers
I did not catch the hon. Member's interruption, but he certainly seems to be very cheerful about a rather gloomy matter. I appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to reconsider the matter on these lines: Where there is not unanimity among the five doctors who comprise the tribunal, the applicant should be notified and should be given the right of appeal to an appellate tribunal.
§ 10.36 p.m.
§ Mr. McEntee
I hope that the Minister has not closed his mind entirely to the appeal that has been made to him from both sides of the Committee. I have no prejudice such as other Members have shown against the medical profession. My father was a doctor, so that I have had some association with the profession. My personal experience of doctors makes me doubt very much their ability always to say what is the condition of anyone. It is 45 years since I went in front of a doctor with the object of joining the friendly side of a society, where a medical examination was necessary. I was already a very active and prominent member of that society, but I was refused admission to the friendly society on grounds of health, being told that I was not medically fit.
I asked the doctor who rejected me whether he would submit me to a consultant, and because of the standing that I had in the society I obtained that privilege. I was submitted to a further examination on a future occasion by the doctor with the consultant present, and both of them rejected me. I had no further right of appeal, and from that day to this I have not joined that society. My own medical practitioner said that the other doctors did not know what they were talking about—he did not say so in those words, but that was the effect. Ultimately, to test the matter, I went to another society to find out what its doctor would say, and in that case I was passed as in every sense fit. I joined the society and remained in it for many years. That was 45 years ago that I was rejected as medically unfit to draw benefit from an ordinary society, and if that could happen in such circumstances is it not likely that mistakes will be made at times when there will be congestion because of the hurry, in spite of all that has been said by the Minister?
I hope that the Minister will not lose sight of his own remarks in relation to the suggestion of my hon. Friend who seconded the Amendment. Even if he cannot accept the Amendment as it stands—I hope he will, but if he does not I shall have the opportunity of voting against it—I hope he will reconsider giving a right of appeal to the man concerned; an appeal, if not to a medical appeal tribunal, to a consultant. The point made by my hon. Friend the Member 833 for South Shields (Mr. Ede) is perhaps the most important in connection with this Amendment. I have made it so often that I feel it intensely and I am sure that most hon. Members will have met with the point. I am thinking of the man who is rejected and who carries that fact with him through his life whenever he applies for a job. I hope that a man who is placed in that position by his rejection by a medical board will at least have the right to appeal, if not to a tribunal, to a consultant, so that he may, as no doubt he will in some cases, get a reversal of the original decision.
§ 10.41 p.m.
§ Sir Edward Grigg
I have no very strong feeling on the question whether the appeal should be to a tribunal or to a consultant, but I should like strongly to support the plea which has now been made by Members in all quarters of the Committee in favour of allowing a man who has been rejected the right of appeal against the decision. It is a very serious thing for a man at the outset of his life to be rejected as unfit by a board of that kind. It may tell against him all his life, and I do not think it is fair to leave him in that position without giving him a right of appeal of some kind. In France the very greatest importance is always attached to the medical examination. It is carried on with a good deal of ceremony, in many cases with the mayor present. The greatest attention is paid to the manner in which it is done, and, when a young man is passed as fit for service in the Army, the mayor shakes him by the hand and congratulates him on having been passed as fit to serve his country. To be found unfit is a stigma that applies to a man throughout his life, and, where there is such a possibility, it seems proper that he should be given a right of appeal, whatever the doctors may think about him. My right hon. Friend has undertaken to consider the point. Cannot he go a step further and give us an undertaking that the man will have a right of appeal from the decision of a board who, however great their experience, are after all fallible?
§ 10.44 p.m.
Mr. David Adams
It has been said that this is a temporary Measure, but presumably it would be a quite easy and necessary transition for these arrangements which prevail in a time of peace to 834 be utilised in war conditions, so that we are in effect legislating for war conditions also. The original board is to consist of five medical practitioners, but I am not certain that that will give a feeling of great confidence generally, particularly among those who have wide municipal experience. Everyone knows that there is in the medical profession a tendency to specialise, and that the medical practitioner to-day has not as a rule had wide general experience. Conscripts coming before these boards may be examined by one medical practitioner only, and, as a result of that examination, may be passed direct into the Army. Medical practitioners to-day generally do not deal with anything out of the normal. They immediately pass such cases to either the municipal hospitals or the voluntary hospitals, where the specialists are congregating. At almost all of our leading hospitals there are specialist clinics, to which the general practitioners send their patients as a matter of routine. Therefore, the members of these boards will not have the experience which would enable them to deal with the diverse cases that may come before them.
I would call attention, by way of contrast, to what the House of Commons has designed for the protection of the man who has a grievance in connection with unemployment benefit. Let me give an example arising out of a case which recently came to my knowledge. In a mine there was a dispute with the management, and a number of men were off work. They applied—successfully as it happened—for their unemployment benefit. What is the procedure in that matter, of relatively trifling importance, both to the individual and the community? First, the workpeople apply for standard benefit. Let us assume that the case is a difficult one, and the application is turned down. They then have a right of appeal, and the case is gone into in great detail by the appeal court. The court may decide not to grant benefit. Again, the man has a right of appeal to the referee. Surely the conscript for the Army should have an inalienable right to pass from the first board to the appellate board.
§ Question put, "That these words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 146; Noes, 239.837
|Division No. 115.]||AYES.||[10.50 p.m.|
|Adams, D. (Consett)||Griffiths, J. (Llanelly)||Noel-Baker, P. J.|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.)||Groves, T. E.||Oliver, G. H.|
|Adamson, Jennie L. (Dartford)||Guest, Dr. L. H. (Islington, N.)||Paling, W.|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.)||Hall, G. H. (Aberdare)||Parker, J.|
|Ammon, C. G.||Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)||Parkinson, J. A.|
|Anderson, F. (Whitehaven)||Hardie, Agnes||Pearson, A.|
|Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.||Harvey, T. E. (Eng. Univ's.)||Pethick-Lawrence, Rt. Hon. F. W.|
|Banfield, J. W.||Hayday, A.||Poole, C. C.|
|Barnes, A. J.||Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)||Price, M. P.|
|Barr, J.||Henderson, J. (Ardwick)||Pritt, D. N.|
|Batey, J.||Henderson, T. (Tradeston)||Richards, R. (Wrexham)|
|Beaumont, H. (Batley)||Hicks, E. G.||Ridley, G.|
|Bellenger, F. J.||Hills, A. (Pontefract)||Riley, B.|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. W. W.||Hollins, A.||Ritson, J.|
|Bevan, A.||Hopkin, D.||Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens)|
|Bromfield, W.||Jagger, J.||Rothschild, J. A. de|
|Brown, C. (Mansfield)||Jenkins, A. (Pentypool)||Seely, Sir H. M.|
|Buchanan, G.||Jenkins, Sir W. (Neath)||Sexton, T. M.|
|Burke, W. A.||Johnston, Rt. Hon. T.||Shinwell, E.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Jones, A. C. (Shipley)||Silkin, L.|
|Chater, D.||Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T.||Silverman, S. S.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Kirby, B. V.||Simpson, F. B.|
|Cocks, F. S.||Kirkwood, D.||Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)|
|Collindridge, F.||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. G.||Smith, E. (Stoke)|
|Cove, W. G.||Lathan, G.||Smith, T. (Normanton)|
|Cripps, Hon. Sir Stafford||Lawson, J. J.||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Daggar, G.||Leach, W.||Stephen, C.|
|Dalton, H.||Leonard, W.||Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)|
|Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill)||Leslie, J. R.||Summerskill, Dr. Edith|
|Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)||Logan, D. G.||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)|
|Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Lunn, W.||Thurtle, E.|
|Day, H.||Macdonald, G. (Ince)||Tinker, J. J.|
|Dobbie, W.||McEntee, V. La T.||Tomlinson, G.|
|Dunn, E. (Rother Valley)||McGhee, H. G.||Viant, S. P.|
|Ede, J. C.||McGovern, J.||Walkden, A. G.|
|Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty)||MacLaren, A.||Watkins, F. C.|
|Evans, D. O. (Cardigan)||MacMillan, M. (Western Isles)||Watson, W. McL.|
|Evans, E. (Univ. of Wales)||Mainwaring, W. H.||Welsh, J. C.|
|Foot, D. M.||Mander, G. le M.||Westwood, J.|
|Frankel, D.||Marshall, F.||White, H. Graham|
|Gallacher, W.||Mathers, G.||Williams, E. J. (Ogmere)|
|Gardner, B. W.||Maxton, J.||Williams, T. (Don Valley)|
|Garro Jones, G. M.||Messer, F.||Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)|
|George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey)||Milner, Major J.||Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)|
|Gibson, R. (Greenock)||Montague, F.||Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)|
|Graham, D. M. (Hamilton)||Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.)||Young, Sir R. (Newton)|
|Green, W. H. (Deptford)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A.||Muff, G.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Grenfell, D. R.||Nathan, Colonel H. L.||Mr. Adamson and Mr. Whitley.|
|Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth)||Naylor, T. E.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lt.-Col. G. J.||Bull, B B.||Duckworth, Arthur (Shrewsbury)|
|Adams, S. V. T. (Leeds, W.)||Burghley, Lord||Dugdale, Captain T. L.|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Comdr. P. G.||Burgin, Rt. Hon. E. L.||Dunglass, Lord|
|Albery, Sir Irving||Butcher, H. W.||Eastwood, J. F.|
|Allen, Col. J. Sandeman (B'knhead)||Cartland, J. R. H.||Eckersley, P. T.|
|Anderson, Sir A. Garrett (C. of Ldn.)||Carver, Major W. H.||Edmondson, Major Sir J.|
|Assheton, R.||Castlereagh, Viscount||Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.|
|Baillie, Sir A. W. M.||Cayzer, Sir C. W. (City of Chester)||Ellis, Sir G.|
|Balfour, G. (Hampstead)||Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Elliston, Capt. G. S.|
|Balfour, Capt. H. H. (Isle of Thanet)||Channon, H.||Emery, J. F.|
|Balniel, Lord||Chapman, Sir S. (Edinburgh, S.)||Emrys-Evans, P. V.|
|Beauchamp, Sir B. C.||Clarke, Colonel R. S. (E. Grinstead)||Entwistle, Sir C. F.|
|Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h)||Cobb, Captain E. C. (Preston)||Errington, E.|
|Bernays, R. H.||Colfox, Major W. P.||Everard, Sir William Lindsay|
|Bird, Sir R. B.||Conant, Captain R. J. E.||Fildes, Sir H.|
|Blair, Sir R.||Cook, Sir T. R. A. M. (Norfolk, N.)||Findlay, Sir E|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Cooper, Rt. Hn. A. Duff (W'st'r S. G'gs)||Fleming, E. L.|
|Bossom, A. C.||Cox, H. B. Trevor||Fox, Sir G. W. G.|
|Boulton, W. W.||Cranborne, Viscount||Furness, S. N.|
|Boyce, H. Leslie||Critshley, A.||Fyfe, D. P. M.|
|Bracken, B.||Croft, Brig.-Gen. Sir H. Page||Gluckstein, L. H.|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N. (Buckrose)||Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.||Glyn, Major Sir R. G. C.|
|Braithwaite, J. Gurney (Holderness)||Crossley, A. C.||Goldie, N. B.|
|Brass, Sir W.||Crowder, J. F. E.||Gower, Sir R. V.|
|Briscoe, Capt. R. G.||Cruddas, Col. B.||Greene, W. P. C. (Worcester)|
|Broadbridge, Sir G. T.||Culverwell, C. T.||Gridley, Sir A. B.|
|Brocklebank, Sir Edmund||De la Bère, R.||Grimston, R. V.|
|Brooke, H. (Lewisham, W.)||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Guest, Lieut.-Colonel H. (Drake)|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith)||Denville, Alfred||Guest, Maj. Hon. O. (C'mb'rw'll, N. W.)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Newbury)||Donner, P. W.||Gunston, Capt. Sir D. W.|
|Hacking, Rt. Hon. Sir D. H.||Maxwall, Hon. S. A.||Selley, H. R.|
|Hambro, A. V.||Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J.||Shakespeare, G. H|
|Hammersley, S. S.||Medlicott, F.||Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)|
|Hannah, I. C.||Mailer, Sir R. J. (Mitcham)||Shepperson, Sir E. W.|
|Hannon, Sir P. J. H.||Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth)||Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen)|
|Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)||Mills, Major J. O. (New Forest)||Smithers, Sir W.|
|Haslam, Sir J. (Bolton)||Mitchell, H. (Brentford and Chiswick)||Somervall, Rt. Hon. Sir Donald|
|Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.||Mitcheson, Sir G. G.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel A. P.||Morgan, R. H. (Worcester, Stourbridge)||Southby, Commander Sir A. R. J.|
|Hapburn, P. G. T. Buchan-||Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's.)||Spears, Brigadier-General E. L.|
|Herbert, Lt.-Col. J. A. (Monmouth)||Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester)||Spens, W. P.|
|Higgs, W. F.||Muirhead, Lt.-Col. A. J.||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'm'l'd)|
|Hogg, Hon. Q. McG.||Munro, P.||Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.)|
|Holmes, J. S.||Nall, Sir J.||Storey, S.|
|Hopkinson, A.||Neven-Spence, Major B. H. H.||Stourton, Major Hon. J. J.|
|Horsbrugh, Florense||Nicholson, G. (Farnham)||Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)|
|Howitt, Or. A. B.||O'Connor, Sir Terence J.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.)||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir M. F.|
|Hume, Sir G. H.||Orr-Ewing, I. L.||Sutcliffe, H.|
|Hutchinson, G. C.||Peake, O.||Tasker, Sir R. I.|
|Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir T. W. H.||Perkins, W. R. D.||Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)|
|James, Wing-Commander A. W. H.||Peters, Dr. S. J.||Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (Padd., S.)|
|Jarvis, Sir J. J.||Petherick, M.||Thomson, Sir J. D. W.|
|Jones, Sir G. W. H. (S'k N'w'gt'n)||Pickthorn, K. W. M.||Titchfield, Marquess of|
|Jones, L. (Swansea W.)||Ponsonby, Col. C. E.||Touche, G. C.|
|Keeling, E. H.||Porritt, R. W.||Tree, A. R. L. F.|
|Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose)||Pownall, Lt.-Col. Sir Assheton||Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.|
|Kerr, J. Graham (Scottish Univs.)||Prootar, Major H. A.||Turton, R. H.|
|Kimball, L.||Purbrick, R.||Wakefield, W. W.|
|Knox, Major-General Sir A. W. F.||Radford, E. A.||Walker-Smith, Sir J.|
|Lamb, Sir J. Q.||Ramsbotham, H.||Wallace, Capt. Rt. Hon. Euan|
|Lancaster, Captain C. G.||Rankin, Sir R.||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Latham, Sir P.||Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)||Ward, Irene M. B. (Wallsend)|
|Law, R. K. (Hull, S.W.)||Rayner, Major R. H.||Warrender, Sir V.|
|Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Reed, A. C. (Exeter)||Watt, Lt.-Col. G. S. Harvie|
|Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L.||Reed, Sir H. S. (Aylesbury)||Wayland, Sir W. A|
|Levy, T.||Raid, W. Allan (Derby)||Wells, Sir Sydney|
|Liddall, W. S.||Richards, G. W. (Skipton)||Whiteley, Major J. P. (Buckingham)|
|Lipson, D. L.||Ropner, Colonel L.||Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.|
|Llewellin, Colonel J. J.||Rosbotham, Sir T.||Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Locker-Lampson, Comdr. O. S.||Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Loftus, P. C.||Rowlands, G.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel G.|
|Mabane, W. (Huddersfield)||Royds, Admiral Sir P. M. R.||Womersley, Sir W. J.|
|MacAndrew, Colonel Sir C. G.||Russell, Sir Alexander||Wragg, H.|
|MacDonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury)||Wright, Wing-Commander J. A. C.|
|McKie, J. H.||Russell, S. H. M. (Darwen)||York, C.|
|Maclay, Hon. J. P.||Salt, E. W.||Young, A. S. L. (Partick)|
|Maitland, Sir Adam||Samuel, M. R. A.|
|Makins, Brigadier-General Sir Ernest||Sandys, E. D.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Manningham-Buller, Sir M||Schuster, Sir G. E.||Captain McEwen and Captain Waterhouse.|
|Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Scott, Lord William|
§ 10.59 p.m.
§ Mr. Ellis Smith
I beg to move, in page 8, line 15, at the end, to insert:(3) The result of any such examination shall be entered in the records of the person examined, and such entry shall be conclusive evidence of the person's physical condition and state of health at the time of examination.Every Member of this Committee who takes his duties seriously should be prepared to support this Amendment. I base that statement upon the experiences of many of my hon. Friends and of hon. Members opposite with regard to ex-service men. Many hon. Members, particularly those coming from industrial centres, are familiar with such phrases as "The condition of the person is not attributable to war service" or, "It is not directly arising out of war service." It is based upon that experience and those phrases that we desire to have this Amendment inserted in the Bill. I want 838 to relate one or two of my own experiences to show the necessity for the Amendment. Hon. Members who have served in the Armed Forces, particularly during the last War, will remember that on many occasions we could not take our clothes off, sometimes for days and days, and that, especially if a man is subject to wounds or disease, is bound to affect his whole physique. In addition to that, particularly when we were first called up, we had to sleep on boards, on concrete, and on steel on many occasions, and that also is bound to affect a man's physique, particularly later in life. I remember an experience that I had when marching from the quayside at Boulogne up to St. Martin's camp. No provision had been made to accommodate us that evening, and as we were marching up St. Mary's Hill, if I remember the name aright, it poured with rain, with the result that the whole of the unit that I was with 839 to reinforce the Tank Corps slept on Boulogne station that evening, wet through. We say that experiences of that character are bound to affect a man's physique, and it cannot be measured until later in life, when it may be he finds that he is suffering from rheumatism or some other disease of that character, and it is then difficult to trace a man's physical condition to his war service.
We agree with the Minister when he said a few moments ago that every man when he was enlisted received a thorough medical examination. If that is so—and all those who have had experience know that it is so—we say that it logically follows that when a man enlists you get on his attestation paper his medical history, and that paper, if a man is certified on it as medically fit, should provide the Army authorities with conclusive evidence of his physical condition. Therefore we say that the whole of the Members of the House ought to be prepared to support this Amendment, because everyone who has had anything to do with the armed forces knows that if anything I am understating the case. They ought to be prepared to support this Amendment in order that the young men who are coming forward should not be subjected to the experiences to which my generation were subjected.
I do not know whether it matters, but I have had my attention drawn to the fact that on this very important Amendment there is no Member of the Cabinet present in the Chamber. I know that we are living in serious times and that Cabinet Ministers are very busy, and I am the first one to make allowances for their difficulties, but I do say that when we are considering serious questions like this, affecting the lads who belong to our people, and when we see the way in which they were treated last night, with one treatment for the lad who belongs to us and a different treatment for the lad who belongs to other people, I say that the least we are entitled to expect is that some Member of the Cabinet who could take the responsibility of accepting this Amendment should be present.
§ 11.5 p.m.
§ Mr. Shinwell
I rise, mainly to direct the attention of the Committee to the fact that for the purposes of this Debate the Front Bench opposite is occupied only 840 by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour, while on the back benches sits the Minister of Pensions, who is, perhaps, the most competent authority on this subject in the House. I think the Committee ought to be treated with courtesy, and that we are entitled to suggest that not only the Minister of Pensions, but the Secretary of State for War, whose Bill this is, should be in his place to reply to the important and substantial issue raised by this Amendment. Moreover, let me remind the Government and the Committee generally that we are operating under the Guillotine. I see the occupants of the Front Bench have now been reinforced by the Minister of Health who is indeed competent to express an opinion on a matter of this sort because of his professional qualification and because he has had I believe experience of military duties. But it seems to me that in the circumstances, the Committee ought to be treated with greater respect than has been shown to it. I know that within the Rules laid down as a result of the Guillotine Motion, we have no power to move to report Progress otherwise I should certainly do so. I can only say that it seems a most extraordinary and indeed monstrous thing, that the Committee should be placed in the position in which it finds itself.
On the major issue, I hope the Government will see their way to accept this reasonable and moderate Amendment. There is nothing in it to which they can possibly object. We are not asking for more than the Amendment describes. [Laughter.] I mean exactly what I have said. There is no ulterior or partisan motive behind the Amendment. It is a perfectly straight Amendment which would improve the Bill and protect the interests of the men who are to be called up under the Bill. All we ask is that the result of the medical examination should be entered in the records of the person who has been examined. No one can take any exception to that proposal.and such entry shall be conclusive evidence of the person's physical condition and state of health at the time of examination.There can be no exception to that. If the Government oppose an Amendment of this kind we are entitled to entertain very deep suspicion that they intend to take advantage of the absence of such a provision in order to safeguard themselves against any legitimate claim that may be presented in the future.
841 I agree with the speech of the hon. Member for Stoke (Mr. E. Smith), which was practical and sincere and based on his own experience. I agree with what he said about the experience in connection with claims presented by ex-service men. There is scarcely one hon. Member who has not had sorrowful experience of having received communications in response to letters they have addressed to the Minister of Pensions. They have usually begun by expressing the regret of the Minister. The Minister is usually oozing with sympathy, but practical effects are generally absent. Because of our experience in connection with these claims of ex-service men and because of the fact that there are innumerable cases, one might say countless cases, where ex-service men, in spite of the medical diagnosis when they were first enlisted and when they were pronounced fit for service, have been refused pensions allowances and grants because it was held that their disease was not attributable to war service. It is a most scandalous business that we cannot raise the question of ex-service men to-night when we are dealing with men who some day will be ex-service men.
I am glad that the Minister of Labour is now present. He is entitled to leave the House—
§ Mr. Shinwell
I was about to say that the right hon. Gentleman is entitled to leave his place for a while, because he has been in constant attendance in the previous proceedings. He has been in a kindly and generous mood, and has made concessions which we value very highly, although we have not received all the concessions to which we think we are entitled. I hope that now he has arrived, and particularly in view of his own experience as an ex-service man, he will be ready to make the concession for which we are asking.
§ 11.15 p.m.
§ Mr. Buchanan
I think this Amendment is very important because it will affect men who will be ex-service men later on. I am not going to deal with the problem of the men who served in the last War. Hon. Members are familiar with it, and understand it. They have all had 842 pathetic cases put before them. The lesson of our experience in the cases we have lost should be a warning to safeguard the cases of the future. Our experience ought to have the effect that we shall see to it that we safeguard others from being put in the same position. I want to deal with the men who will join the Army, the militiamen. It is the same case, but far worse than the case of those who served in the War. The man who served in the last War had certain rights. He had the right of appeal to a tribunal, and before going there the whole history of his case was set out in writing. He had the right to bring medical evidence and legal assistance, and further he had the case against him fully set out. In addition the tribunal had as a member an ex-service man, which was to some extent a guarantee that he would get decent treatment.
What is the position now? It is much worse. The man who joins the Army has no appeal except to the Chelsea Commissioners, who never give a decision in writing. No case is set out. The man cannot be represented, nor can he bring medical evidence, or see the case against him in writing. He cannot have legal advice. All that happens is that the Chelsea Commissioners meet, decide his case, and from that decision there is no appeal. His position is far worse than that of the man who served in the War. The Chelsea Commissioners decide the case in the man's absence; he knows nothing of the proceedings and his only resort is to his Member of Parliament, who may or may not be successful in getting a review. The Member of Parliament can only go to the Secretary of State for War who may ask the Chelsea Commissioners to reconsider the case. I know the case of a man who joined the Army in the ordinary way, served for four years, and was then discharged suffering from some form of rheumatic fever. When he appealed to the Commissioners, they said that before he joined he had suffered from this rheumatic fever. In this case, there is to be no appeal by a legal man or a doctor to the tribunal, and there is to be no ex-Service man on the tribunal. The case is to be decided in private.
On this issue I ask for common decency and fairness, and for the same treatment to be accorded to the militiaman as would be given to the ordinary 843 criminal appearing before the courts. The Amendment asks for a simple thing. It asks that if a man is passed as being A.I, then afterwards that record shall stand, and no efforts shall be made in future to demolish that record. Surely, that is a reasonable thing to ask. The doctor's sworn evidence that a man is A.I should be taken, after he is discharged as medically unfit, as conclusive evidence that the man was a fit man when he joined up, and therefore, is entitled to the generosity of the State for the suffering through which he has gone. I trust that the Committee will accept the Amendment. I have been told that hon. Members opposite have at heart the interests of the ex-Service men, and I have no reason for disbelieving that; but I would take it as a practical earnest of that statement if to-night they made this concession to the soldiers who are to be called up.
§ 11.23 p.m.
§ Sir Joseph Nall
The hon. Members who have moved and supported the Amendment have made out a case which superficially at any rate makes a very strong appeal. I do not for one moment suggest that the main appeal which they have made is wrong, but I feel that we should remember that there is a vast difference between the man who joined up for service overseas in practical service conditions, and who served for three or four years in the War, and the present case, where we are dealing with young fit men who are joining up for six months training at home in peace conditions, with practically none of those risks which the ex-Service men of the last War had to face. What is to happen at the end of that six months' training? The hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) spoke of the man who is A.I, and apparently has a clear health record, which should be marked up and be in his possession thereafter. What of the man who is A.2 or C.3? The reasons for this presumably will be marked on the certificate, and after his six months' service in the Army, that certificate will be in his possession for the remainder of his life. Will every employer to whom he goes be entitled to ask to see the certificate? If he is not A.I, if he is any grade less than that, the possession of that certificate may well prejudice him for all the years to come.
844 Moreover, this Amendment is being argued on the ground that this first medical examination as to fitness to undergo this short period of training at home under peace conditions will determine at some later date, if a man is mobilised for service abroad, his fitness for such service. I apprehend that that is not the case. At present, when a man joins the Territorials, he is medically examined, but if mobilisation comes and the Territorial Army is embodied, every man has to be medically examined as to whether he is fit to serve overseas.
§ Mr. Silverman
I do not know whether the hon. Gentleman has read the Amendment recently, but he seems to have overlooked the last words. Nobody is suggesting that the medical certificate should be conclusive of the state of health, but that it should be conclusive of his physical condition and state of health at the time of the examination. It is no more than that.
§ Sir J. Nall
That does not alter my argument. The point is that when he joins for this short period of six months he has to be furnished with a certificate and unless anything happens to him thereafter presumably that certificate stands until it is altered, and it may never be altered. If he is in a category below AI he will be branded as below AI for the rest of his life. If he is remaining in the Army for the rest of his life there may be some point in it, but if he is only doing six months service in peace-time training conditions, which is very different from overseas service in war, he may be prejudiced later when he returns to civil life. The argument I was making before I was interrupted was that this preliminary of first examination is not one on which overseas service in time of war depends. The recruit, having been examined and accepted, does not go overseas on the strength of that examination in time of war, but if the Territorial Army is mobilised to-morrow every man has to undergo another examination. All I am suggesting is that we should not confuse the considerable difficulties that have arisen in the case of ex-service men in consequence of war service for three or four years with the circumstances in which a man is being examined as to-whether he is fit to undergo six months training at home in time of peace.
§ 11.29 p.m.
A point to which no reference has been made concerns the standards of medical fitness on which the examination will be made. I am told it will not necessarily be the War Office standard, and we ought to know what it is. With regard to this medical record, it is necessary to have it for all purposes, including the purposes of the Army itself. The record ought to be of a much more exhaustive character than the usual record of an Army examination. What the hon. Member for Hulme (Sir J. Nall) has just been saying is right as far as it goes, but he does not understand that there are a large number of conditions, such as nasal, eye and ear conditions, on which the whole question of validity or otherwise may depend in the future, and unless they are noted now there is no evidence for or against them. They then merely become a matter of medical opinion.
The hon. Member said that men were joining up for a short period of service. Six months is a reasonably long period, not too long, but they are not necessarily joining up for a short period only. They are joining up for whatever may come—ready to face a war, and presumably joining because there is some definite danger of war eventuating in the near future. It is true that in any sensibly-conducted unit they would be examined again before they were sent overseas, but that does not make it any less desirable to have a record of the exact physical condition of the man when he was first examined. I suggest that that examination ought to be very much fuller than is usual in the Army, because otherwise it will lead to disputes in the future. It is not only under the conditions of service overseas that a man's constitution is undermined. The condition of some men who suffered from the effects of the last War were the outcome of bad arrangements, overwork, and even accidents in this country before they went overseas, and it would be valuable to have a record of the man's condition more on the lines of an insurance examination than an Army medical examination. We ought to be told what are to be the standards of that examination, because until we know that we do not know with what standards a man will have to comply and how far he can meet the physical strain.
§ 11.33 p.m.
§ Mr. Stephen
I strongly support this Amendment. Most Members have had experience, and it has, no doubt, been similar to my own, of the treatment of ex-service men. Very often it has been almost impossible for the Ministry of Pensions to help a man because of the weakness of the system of medical examinations in the past. At the beginning of the last War it was notorious that the medical examinations were of the most cursory character. Many men were drafted into the Army who ought not to have been accepted, and they suffered exceedingly, and afterwards those men presented difficult problems in the matter of compensation and pensions. We are now introducing conscription and the Government ought to utilise the experience of the past, and if this Amendment is accepted I am sure that the medical examinations will be more carefully made. I am in correspondence with the War Office at the moment regarding the case of an athletic young man who joined up and took part in one of the boxing championships of his regiment, or his division or his area. He had a bad knock and was afterwards invalided out of the Service. He went insane, and was invalided out of the Army. The Army said: "We have nothing to do with it. He was examined by the doctor, who found no connection with the blow that he got or with anything else that happened when he was in the Service. We cannot accept any responsibility for his condition." The hon. Lady the Member for Wallsend (Miss Ward) brought forward a similar case, and only because she had the assistance of a medical specialist was she able to get justice done on that occasion.
Here is an opportunity to give a safeguard to men whom we take into the Army. The Amendment will make it impossible for a medical adviser to the Minister to say: "There must have been something wrong with this man. His condition must be due to his history, and has nothing to do with his Army service." I am sure that hon. Members opposite will bear out what I say and will see the importance of accepting the Amendment, Ministers should accept the Amendment for their own protection against their own medical authorities. So many Ministers have tended to get a reputation for hard-heartedness that was not fair, because 847 they had medical advisers who seemed to think it their business so to arrange things that there would be 100 per cent. proof why no pension should be given. Their idea has been that the country desired such economical expenditure that cases should be ruled out if there was any possibility of doing so. I hope that position will be changed. The Amendment will give a great deal of protection to the young men. They should be given a decent medical examination, and if they prove to be sound and well, and break down in the course of their training, the authorities should be compelled to give them adequate compensation and pension rights. It is not right to send out these young men, and then to say to a widowed mother: "His training had nothing to do with it."
§ 11.39 p.m.
Lieut.-Colonel Sir A. Lambert Ward
I am inclined to agree that it would be well if these examinations were much more exhaustive than they are, but I cannot help feeling a doubt whether it would be to the advantage of the man who is to become a Militiaman to have the various facts entered upon his record card. I am also inclined to agree with the hon. Member for Camlachie (Mr. Stephen) that it would be a greater protection for the dependants than for the man himself. When a man is passed as fit for military service, it does not necessarily mean that he is a perfect specimen of physical manhood. Such a thing probably only exists in one case in 50,000. Practically all of us, although we may be fit enough to do military service or our ordinary civilian duties, have some slight physical defect, and it cannot be to the advantage of a militiaman to have entered on his medical record the fact that he has a tendency to flat feet, or a slightly varicose vein, or that he showed signs of having had tubercular trouble in his early youth. Personally I think that, from the point of view of his securing employment when he leaves the Army, it would be much better that these slight physical defects should not be recorded.
§ 11.41 p.m.
§ Dr. Summerskill
I think that the hon. and gallant Member who has just spoken, and the hon. Member for Hulme (Sir J. Nall), are labouring under a misappren-hension about medical records. It has 848 been said that it would brand a man for life if any record were kept showing that he has flat feet, varicose veins, and so on; but every one of these youths who will be called up is already on the list of a doctor under the National Health Insurance Acts, and a record already exists of their physical condition. An employer has only to demand a certificate of health from the boy's insurance practitioner for all these things to be revealed. Therefore it is quite wrong to say that another record will damn a boy in any way.
When I read this Amendment, it seemed to me so modest that I could not imagine the Minister refusing to accept it. It only asks that the doctor shall follow modern medical practice; it is just as elementary as telling one of the five doctors on the board to use a stethoscope in examining a heart, or to use an ophthalmoscope in examining an eye. It is obligatory on the doctors who work under the National Health Insurance Acts to keep records. A careful investigation is made into these records two or three times a year, and any doctor who fails to keep accurate and complete records is fined very heavily after the first offence. The only doctors who refuse to do this are those who have insufficient clerical help. I suggest that there will be plenty of clerical help available for these boards, and that the doctors will not labour under any difficulty in that regard. I suggest that if the Minister refuses this very simple Amendment, there must be some ulterior motive.
§ 11.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Shinwell
On a point of Order. May I suggest that, in view of fact that the Guillotine falls within a quarter of an hour and this is a most important Amendment, we ought to have a reply from the Minister?
§ Mr. Wedgwood Benn
May I draw attention to the fact that this Committee has never had the assistance during the whole day of the Minister whose Bill this is—the Secretary of State for War? It has been, and is now, I understand, to be addressed by an Under-Secretary, whose name is not even on the back of the Bill.
§ 11.46 p.m.
§ Colonel Ropner
I can promise hon. Members that I shall not detain the Committee for more than two minutes. The whole Committee had a feeling of sympathy for the hon. Gentleman when he presented the case for the Amendment. I do not think he was concerned with the rigidity of the medical examination. He was trying to ensure that if the health of the Militiaman suffered by reason of his service he should receive proper compensation. But I am by no means convinced that the Amendment would have the effect he desires. There are a large number of latent diseases, such as tuberculosis and deafness, which may be inherited and become obvious only later in life, and which by no stretch of imagination could be attributed to service. This Amendment could secure only a kind of instantaneous photograph of the state of health of the recruit, and no sort of indication of his health in later years or the life he had led after the examination. It might give the militiaman a false sense of security, and would not do what its supporters expect.
§ 11.48 p.m.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Gorton (Mr. Benn) has been obviously aware for the last five minutes that I was going to reply, because he has protested three times against it. It is rather singular that he should now express such surprise.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I should have been able to deal in somewhat greater detail with some of the interesting points that have been advanced had more time been devoted to this Amendment. On a Bill of this magnitude it is the practice, on both sides, that Ministers should divide up those sections of the Bill which more particularly affect their Departments, each taking that part of the Bill which appears to be more relevant to their particular administration.
§ Mr. Shinwell
Does the hon. Gentleman really suggest that the question of medical examination is a matter for the Ministry of Labour? Is it not a matter which ordinarily comes within the purview of the Secretary of State for War? I have had experience myself of the War Office and have had to deal with precisely these matters. The Ministry of Labour has never had anything to do with this subject.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
The hon. Gentleman has, not for the first time, shown a complete lack of appreciation of the Bill. He says he has had experience of the War Office but neither he nor anyone else has had experience hitherto of a compulsory military training Bill such as this. It is that fact which makes his recollections of singularly little application this evening. Of course, this is a matter more properly dealt with by the Ministry of Labour than any other Department. We are now dealing with a civilian process. Men are asked to go before a medical board by a notice issued on behalf of the Minister of Labour. On this process depends the question whether or not he is served with a military training notice. After he has been served with such a notice he comes within the purview of the Secretary of State for War when he has been called up.
I am afraid, in spite of the arguments which have been adduced, it is quite impossible for the Government to accept the Amendment, for reasons which, I think, hon. Members opposite, and not least the hon. Member for Hemsworth (Mr. G. Griffiths), who is not always slow in picking up points of this kind, will on further reflection find are in the interest of the men themselves. If a man has received a clean bill of health on his examination, that should be conclusive evidence of his state of health at the time. Correspondingly, if he does not receive a clean bill of health, it will be conclusive evidence that he was not in a good state of health at the time. Hon. Members have, perhaps, not appreciated that, as the Amendment is worded, it means that any such record would be taken as conclusive evidence for all purposes. It would be conclusive evidence for the purposes of a whole variety of other Acts of Parliament and other proceedings in ordinary life, such as workmen's compensation, and it would certainly happen that the interests of many people whom we are anxious to help 851 would be prejudiced if an Amendment in these words were carried. The purpose of the Bill, and of this Clause of the Bill, is to see that only men who are fit for military training are taken for military training. [Interruption.] I cannot give way.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
If the Committee will allow me to go over that again, the object of this Clause is to see that only fit men are taken for military training. A record will be made, and a report of the medical examination will be entered in the man's record. The hon. Lady the Member for West Fulham (Dr. Summerskill) seemed to suggest that no record would be kept. Of course there would be such a record, and it would be conclusive for this Bill and for all purposes connected with the Bill that on the particular date when the man was examined he was in the state of health that the record showed him to be. As has been pointed out by an hon. Member behind me and by one or two other hon. Members, no useful purpose would be served either in the interests of the man or the community by accepting an Amendment in these terms. It is essentially a matter for regulation, and it is intended that regulations shall be made. The hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent (Mr. E. Smith) referred to men who might become ill while undergoing their training—men who had had a clean bill of health when they were first examined. The record taken at that time would be available as evidence and proof of the state of a man's health when he was examined. The hon. Member for Camlachie (Mr. Stephen) drew a picture, which, I think, was very much overdrawn, of men returning broken in health and in spirit as a result of military training. If a Regular soldier, who was fit when he joined the Army—and if he was not fit he would not have been allowed to join the Army—either on service or through service, suffers an accident or undergoes an illness which for some time incapacitates him or injures his health, there are provisions in the Army Regulations to meet the hardship.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
The privileges that apply to the Regular soldier in this matter would apply also to Militiamen who are to be recruited under this Bill when it becomes an Act. [Interruption.] If the Committee are interested, I will endeavour to make myself heard and briefly tell them the form of administration to be adopted by the medical board. It is intended as a matter of administration that they should group the men into four categories. Those in the bottom category would not be called up for training. Those in the top three categories would be available to be called up for training, but the nature of the duties for which they would be called up would vary with the category, so that those who were in the third category, that is, near the exclusion line, would not be called upon to undergo such arduous training as would imperil their health, and those who were in the first and second categories, and in that order, would have the more severe tasks allotted to them. I cannot believe, in the light of this explanation—
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
The explanation I have given of the working of the administration. I agree that it would have been a more eloquent and audible explanation if the hon. Gentleman had not interrupted me. In the light of this explanation, the Committee will see that the position is amply covered, and I ask them to reject the Amendment.
§ Mr. Buchanan
Can the Minister say that even under this Bill a man would have any right of personal appearance before the board or of bringing medical evidence to claim a pension?
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
When a man passes under military control he will have the privileges that the Regular soldier enjoys.
§ Mr. Buchanan
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the Regular soldier now has no right of personal appearance before any board, and will he give this man and the Regular soldier the right of appearance before the board?
§ It being Midnight, The CHAIRMAN proceeded, pursuant to the Order of the House of 10th May, to put forthwith the Question on the Amendment already proposed from the Chair.854
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided; Ayes 132, Noes 229.855
|Division No. 116.]||AYES.||[12.0 m.|
|Adams, D. (Consett)||Groves, T. E.||Parker, J.|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.)||Guest, Dr. L. H. (Islington, N.)||Parkinson, J. A.|
|Adamson, Jennie L. (Dartford)||Hall, G. H. (Aberdare)||Pearson, A.|
|Adamson, W. M.||Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)||Pethick-Lawrence, Rt. Hon. F. W|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.)||Harvey, T. E. (Eng. Univ's.)||Poole, C. C.|
|Ammon, C. G.||Hayday, A.||Price, M. P.|
|Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.||Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)||Pritt, O. N.|
|Banfield, J. W.||Henderson, J. (Ardwick)||Quibell, D. J. K.|
|Barnes, A. J.||Henderson, T. (Tradeston)||Richards, R. (Wrexham)|
|Barr, J.||Hicks, E. G.||Ridley, G.|
|Batey, J.||Hills, A. (Pontefract)||Riley, B.|
|Beaumont, H. (Batley)||Hollins, A.||Ritson, J.|
|Bellenger, F. J.||Hopkin, D.||Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens)|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. W. W.||Jagger, J.||Rothschild, J. A. de|
|Bevan, A.||Jenkins, A. (Pontypool)||Seely, Sir H. M.|
|Bromfield, W.||Jenkins, Sir W. (Neath)||Sexton, T. M.|
|Buchanan, G.||Jones, A. C. (Shipley)||Shinwell, E.|
|Burke, W. A.||Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T.||Silkin, L.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Kirby, B. V.||Silverman, S. S.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Kirkwood, D.||Simpson, F. B.|
|Cocks, F. S.||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. G.||Smith, Ben (Rotherhiths)|
|Collindridge, F.||Lawson, J. J.||Smith, E. (Stoke)|
|Cove, W. G.||Leach, W.||Smith, T. (Normanton)|
|Cripps, Hon. Sir Stafford||Logan, D. G.||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Daggar, G.||Lunn, W.||Stephen, C.|
|Dalton, H.||Macdonald, G. (Ince)||Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)|
|Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill)||McEntee, V. La T.||Summerskill, Dr. Edith|
|Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||McGhee, H. G.||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)|
|Day, H.||McGovern, J.||Tinker, J. J.|
|Dobbie, W.||MacLaren, A.||Tomlinson, G.|
|Dunn, E. (Rather Valley)||MacMillan, M. (Western Isles)||Viant, S. P.|
|Ede, J. C.||Mainwaring, W. H.||Watkins, F. C.|
|Edwards, Sir C. (Badwellty)||Mander, G. le M.||Watson, W. McL.|
|Evans, D. O. (Cardigan)||Marshall, F.||Welsh, J. C.|
|Frankel, D.||Maxton, J.||Westwood, J.|
|Gallacher, W.||Messer, F.||Whiteley, W. (Blaydon)|
|Gardner, B. W.||Milner, Major J.||Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)|
|Garro Jones, G. M.||Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.)||Williams, T. (Don Valley)|
|George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)|
|Gibson, R. (Greenock)||Muff, G.||Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)|
|Graham, D. M. (Hamilton)||Nathan, Colonel H. L.||Woods, G. S. (Finsbnry)|
|Green, W. H. (Deptford)||Naylor, T. E.||Young, Sir R. (Newton)|
|Grenfell, D. R.||Noel-Baker, P. J.|
|Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth)||Oliver, G. H.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Griffiths, J. (Llanelly)||Paling, W.||Mr. Mathers and Mr. Anderson|
|Acland-Troyte, Lt.-Col. G. J.||Broadbridge, Sir G. T.||Crowder, J. F. E.|
|Adams, S. V. T. (Leeds, W.)||Brocklebank, Sir Edmund||Cruddas, Col. B.|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Comdr. P. G.||Brooke, H. (Lewisham, W.)||Culverwell, C. T.|
|Allen, Col. J. Sandeman (B'knhead)||Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith)||Davidson, Viscountess|
|Anderson, Sir A. Garrett (C. of Ldn.)||Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Newbury)||De la Bère, R.|
|Apsley, Lord||Bull, B. B.||Denman, Hon. R. D.|
|Assheton, R.||Burghley, Lord||Denville, Alfred|
|Baillie, Sir A. W. M.||Burgin, Rt. Hon. E. L.||Donner, P. W.|
|Balfour, Capt. H. H. (Isle of Thanet)||Butcher, H. W.||Dugdale, Captain T. L.|
|Balniel, Lord||Cartland, J. R. H.||Duggan, H. J.|
|Baxter, A. Beverley||Carver, Major W. H.||Duncan, J. A. L.|
|Beauchamp, Sir B. C.||Castlereagh, Viscount||Dunglass, Lord|
|Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h)||Cayzer, Sir C. W. (City of Chester)||Eastwood, J. F.|
|Beechman, N. A.||Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Eckersley P. T.|
|Bernays, R. H.||Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)||Edmondson, Major Sir J.|
|Bird, Sir R. B.||Channon, H.||Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.|
|Blair, Sir R.||Clarke, Colonel R. S. (E. Grinstead)||Ellis, Sir G.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Cobb, Captain E. C. (Preston)||Elliston, Capt. G. S.|
|Bossom, A. C.||Colman, N. C. D.||Emery, J. F.|
|Boulton, W. W.||Conant, Captain R. J. E.||Emrys-Evans, P. V.|
|Boyce, H. Leslie||Cook, Sir T. R. A. M. (Norfolk, N.)||Entwistle, Sir C. F.|
|Bracken, B.||Cooper, Rt. Hn. A. Duff (W'sfr S. G'gs)||Errington, E.|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N. (Buckrose)||Cox, H. B. Trevor||Everard, Sir William Lindsay|
|Braithwaite, J. Gurney (Holderness)||Craven-Ellis, W.||Findlay, Sir E.|
|Brass, Sir W.||Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.||Foot, D. M.|
|Briscoe, Capt. R. G.||Crossley, A. C.||Fox, Sir G. W. G.|
|Fremantle, Sir F. E.||Llewellin, Lieut.-Col. J. J.||Samuel, M. R. A.|
|Furness, S. N.||Loftus, P. C.||Sandys, E. D.|
|Fyfe, D. P. M.||Mabane, W. (Huddersfield)||Scott, Lord William|
|Gluckstein, L. H.||MacDonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Selley, H. R.|
|Glyn, Major Sir R. G. C.||McEwen, Capt. J. H. F.||Shakespeare, G. H.|
|Goldie, N. B.||McKie, J. H.||Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)|
|Gower, Sir R. V.||Maitland, Sir Adam||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A.|
|Grant-Ferris, Flight-Lieutenant R.||Makins, Brigadier-General Sir Ernest||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U. B'lf'st)|
|Greene, W. P. C. (Worcester)||Manningham-Buller, Sir M.||Smiles, Lieut.-Colonel Sir W. D.|
|Gridley, Sir A. B.||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen)|
|Grimston, R. V.||Markham, S. F.||Smithers, Sir W|
|Guest, Lieut.-Colonel H. (Drake)||Maxwell, Hon. S. A.||Somervell, Rt. Hon. Sir Donald|
|Guest, Maj. Hon. O. (C'mb'rw'll, N. W.)||Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J.||Southby, Commander Sir A. R. J.|
|Guinness, T. L. E. B.||Medlicott, F.||Spens, W. P.|
|Hacking, Rt. Hon. Sir D. H.||Meller, Sir R. J. (Mitcham)||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'm'1'd)|
|Hambro, A. V.||Mellor. Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth)||Storey, S.|
|Hammersley, S. S.||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Stourton, Major Hon. J. J.|
|Hannah, I. C.||Mitchell, H. (Brentford and Chiswick)||Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)|
|Hannon, Sir P. J. H.||Mitcheson, Sir G. G.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Haslam, Henry (Horncattle)||Morgan, R. H. (Worcester, Stourbridge)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir M. F.|
|Haslam, Sir J. (Bolton)||Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's.)||Sutcliffe, H.|
|Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.||Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester)||Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel A. P.||Muirhead, Lt.-Col. A. J.||Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (Padd., S.)|
|Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan-||Nall, Sir J.||Titchfleld, Marquess of|
|Herbert, Lt.-Col. J. A. (Monmouth)||Neven-Spence, Major B. H. H.||Touche, G. C.|
|Higgs, W. F.||Nicholson, G. (Farnham)||Tree, A. R. L. F.|
|Hogg, Hon. Q. McG.||Nicolson, Hon. H. G.||Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.|
|Holmes, J. S.||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh||Turton, R. H.|
|Hore-Belisha, Rt. Hon. L.||Orr-Ewing, I. L.||Wakefield, W. W.|
|Horsburgh, Florence||Peake, O.||Walker-Smith, Sir J.|
|Howitt, Dr. A. B.||Peters, Dr. S. J.||Wallace, Capt. Rt. Hon. Euan|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.)||Petherick, M.||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Hutchinson, G. C.||Pickthorn, K. W. M.||Warrender, Sir V.|
|Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir T. W. H.||Ponsonby, Col. C. E.||Waterhouse, Captain C.|
|James, Wing-commander A. W. H.||Porritt, R. W.||Watt Lt.-Col. G. S. Harvie.|
|Jones, Sir G. W. H. (S'k N'w'gt'n)||Pownall, Lt.-Col. Sir Assheton||Wayland, Sir W. A|
|Jones, L. (Swansea W.)||Procter, Major H. A.||Wells, Sir Sydney|
|Keeling, E. H.||Radford, E. A.||Whiteley, Major J. P. (Buckingham)|
|Kerr, H. W. (Oldham)||Rantsbotham, H.||Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.|
|Kerr, J. Graham (Scottish Univs.)||Rankin, Sir R.||Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Kimball, L.||Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Knox Major-General Sir A. W. F||Reed. A. C. (Exeter||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel G.|
|Lamb, Sir J. Q.||Reed, H. S. (Aylesbury)||Womersley, Sir W. J.|
|Lancaster, Captain C. G.||Reid, W. Allan (Derby)||Wragg H.|
|Latham, Sir P.||Rickards, G. W. (Skipton)||Wright, Wing-Commander J. A. C.|
|Law, R. K. (Hull, S.W.)||Ropner, Colonel L.||York C.|
|Leech, Sir J. W.||Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge)||Young, A. S. L. (Partick)|
|Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Rowlands, G.|
|Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L.||Royds, Admiral Sir P. M. R.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Levy, T.||Russell, Sir Alexander||Lieut.-Colonel Kerr and Mr. Munro.|
|Liddall, W. S.||Russell, S. H. M. (Darwen)|
|Lipson, D. L.||Salt, E. W.|
§ The CHAIRMAN then proceeded successively to put forthwith the Questions on Amendments moved by the Government, of which notice had been given, and the Question necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at Midnight at this day's sitting
§ Amendments made:
§ In page 8, line 20, leave out "convicted," and insert "found guilty."856
In line 22, at the end, insert:
(4) A notice served on any person under this section shall cease to have effect if, before the date on which he is thereby required to submit himself to medical examination he ceases to be liable to be called up for military training under this Act."—[Mr. W. S. Morrison.]
§ Motion made, and Question put, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 239; Noes, 124.859
|Division No. 117.]||AYES.||[12.11 a.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lt.-Col. G. J.||Baxter, A. Beverley||Bracken, B.|
|Adams, S. V. T. (Leeds, W.)||Beauchamp, Sir B. C.||Braithwaite, Major A. N. (Buckrose)|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Comdr. P. G.||Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h)||Braithwaite, J. Gurney (Holderness)|
|Allen, Col. J. Sandeman (B'knhead)||Beechman, N. A.||Brass, Sir W.|
|Anderson, Sir A. Garrett (C. of Ldn.)||Bernays, R. H.||Briscoe, Capt. R. G.|
|Apsley, Lord||Bird, Sir R. B.||Broadbridge, Sir G. T.|
|Aske, Sir R. W.||Blair, Sir R.||Brocklebank, Sir Edmund|
|Assheton, R.||Boothby, R. J. G.||Brooke, H. (Lewisham, W.)|
|Baillie Sir A. W. M.||Bossom, A. C.||Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith)|
|Balfour, Capt. H. H. (Isle of Thanet)||Boulton, W. W.||Brown, Brig-Gen. H. C. (Newbury)|
|Balniel, Lord||Boyce, H. Leslie||Bull, B. B.|
|Burghley, Lord||Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.||Radford, E. A.|
|Burgin, Rt. Hon. E. L.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel A. P.||Ramsbotham, H.|
|Butcher, H. W.||Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan-||Rankin, Sir R.|
|Cartland, J. R. H.||Herbert, Lt.-Col. J. A. (Monmouth)||Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Higgs, W. F.||Reed, A. C. (Exeter)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hogg, Hon. Q. McG.||Reed, Sir H. S. (Aylesbury)|
|Cayzer, Sir C. W. (City of Chester)||Holmes, J. S.||Reid, W. Allan (Derby)|
|Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Hore-Belisha, Rt. Hon. L.||Rickards, G. W. (Skipton)|
|Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)||Horsbrugh, Florence||Ropner, Colonel L.|
|Channon, H.||Hewitt, Dr. A. B.||Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge)|
|Clarke, Colonel R. S. (E. Grinstead)||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.)||Rothschild, J. A. de|
|Cobb, Captain E. C. (Preston)||Hutchinson, G. C.||Rowlands, G.|
|Colman, N. C. O.||Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir T. W. H.||Royds, Admiral Sir P. M. ft.|
|Conant, Captain R. J. E.||James, Wing-commander A. W. H.||Russell, Sir Alexander|
|Cook, Sir T. R. A. M. (Norfolk, N.)||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (S'k N'w'gt'n)||Russell, S. H. M. (Darwen)|
|Cooper, Rt. Hn. A. Duff (Wst'r S. G'gs)||Jones, L. (Swansea W.)||Salt, E. W.|
|Cox, H. B. Trevor||Keeling, E. H.||Samuel, M. R. A.|
|Craven-Ellis, W.||Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose)||Sandys, E. D.|
|Crooke, Sir J. Smedley||Kerr, H. W. (Oldham)||Scott, Lord William|
|Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.||Kerr, J. Graham (Scottish Univs.)||Seely, Sir H. M.|
|Crossley, A. C.||Kimball, L.||Selley, H. R.|
|Crowder, J. F. E.||Knox, Major-General Sir A. W. F.||Shakespeare, G. H.|
|Cruddas, Col. B.||Lamb, Sir J. Q.||Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)|
|Culverwell, C. T.||Lancaster, Captain C. G.||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A.|
|Davidson, Viscountess||Latham, Sir P.||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U. B'lf'st)|
|De la Bère, R.||Law, R. K. (Hull, S.W.)||Smiles, Lieut.-Colonel Sir W. D.|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Leech, Sir J. W.||Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen)|
|Denville, Alfred||Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Smithers, Sir W.|
|Dormer, P. W.||Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L.||Somervell, Rt. Hon. Sir Donald|
|Duggan, H. J.||Levy, T.||Southby, Commander Sir A. R. J.|
|Duncan, J. A. L.||Liddall, W. S.||Spears, Brigadier-General E. L.|
|Dunglass, Lord||Lipson, D. L.||Spens, W. P.|
|Eastwood, J. F.||Llewellin, Colonel J. J.||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'm'l'd)|
|Eckersley, P. T.||Loftus, P. C.||Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.)|
|Edmondson, Major Sir J.||Mabane, W. (Huddersfield)||Storey, S.|
|Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.||MacDonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Stourton, Major Hon. J. J.|
|Ellis, Sir G.||McEwen, Capt. J. H. F.||Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)|
|Elliston, Capt. G. S.||McGhee, H. G.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Emery, J. F.||Maitland, Sir Adam||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir M. F.|
|Emrys-Evans, P. V.||Makins, Brigadier-General Sir Ernest||Sutcliffe, H.|
|Entwistle, Sir C. F.||Manningham-Buller, Sir M.||Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)|
|Errington, E.||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (Padd., S.)|
|Evans, D. O. (Cardigan)||Markham, S. F.||Titchfield, Marquess of|
|Everard, Sir William Lindsay||Maxwell, Hon. S. A.||Touche, G. C.|
|Fildes, Sir H.||Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J.||Tree, A. R. L. F.|
|Findlay, Sir E.||Medlicott, F.||Tufnell, Lieut. -Commander R, L.|
|Foot, D. M.||Meller, Sir R. J. (Mitcham)||Turton, R. H.|
|Fox, Sir G. W. G.||Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth)||Wakefield, W. W.|
|Fremantle, Sir F. E.||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Walker-Smith, Sir J.|
|Furness, S. N.||Mitchell, H. (Brentford and Chiswick)||Wallace, Capt. Rt. Hon. Euan|
|Fyfe, D. P. M.||Mitcheson, Sir G. G.||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey)||Morgan, R. H. (Worcester, Stourbridge)||Ward, Irene M. B. (Wallsend)|
|Gluckstein, L. H.||Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's.)||Warrender, Sir V.|
|Glyn, Major Sir R. G. C.||Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester)||Waterhouse, Captain C.|
|Goldie, N. B.||Muirhead, Lt.-Col. A. J.||Wayland, Sir W. A.|
|Gower, Sir R. V.||Munro, P.||Wells, Sir Sydney|
|Grant-Ferris, Flight-Lieutenant R.||Nall, Sir J.||Whiteley, Major J. P. (Buckingham)|
|Greene, W. P. C. (Worcester)||Neven-Spence, Major B. H. H.||Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.|
|Gridley, Sir A. B.||Nicholson, G. (Farnham)||Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Grimston, R. V.||Nicolson, Hon. H. G.||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Guest, Lieut.-Colonel H. (Drake)||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel G.|
|Guest, Maj. Hon. O. (C'mb'rw'll, N.W.)||Orr-Ewing, I. L.||Womersley, Sir W. J.|
|Guinness, T. L. E. B.||Peake, O.||Wragg, H.|
|Gunston, Capt. Sir D. W.||Peters, Dr. S. J.||Wright, Wing-Commander J. A. C.|
|Hacking, Rt. Hon. Sir D. H.||Petherick, M.||York, C.|
|Hambro, A. V.||Pickthorn, K. W. M.||Young, A. S. L. (Partick)|
|Hammersley, S. S.||Ponsonby, Col. C. E.|
|Hannah, I. C.||Porritt, R. W.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hannon, Sir P. J. H.||Pownall, Lt.-Col. Sir Assheton||Captain Dugdale and Lieut.-Colonel Harvie Watt.|
|Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)||Procter, Major H. A.|
|Adams, D. (Consett)||Bellenger, F. J.||Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill)|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.)||Benn, Rt. Hon. W. W.||Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)|
|Adamson, Jennie L. (Dartford)||Bevan, A.||Day, H.|
|Adamson, W. M.||Bromfield, W.||Debbie, W.|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.)||Buchanan, G.||Dunn, E. (Rother Valley)|
|Ammon, C. G.||Burke, W. A.||Ede, J. C.|
|Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.||Charleton, H. C.||Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty)|
|Banfield, J. W.||Cocks, F. S.||Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H.|
|Barnes, A. J.||Collindridge, F.||Frankel, D.|
|Barr, J.||Cove, W. G.||Gallacher, W.|
|Batey, J.||Daggar, G.||Gardner, B. W.|
|Beaumont, H. (Ballsy)||Dalton, H.||Garro Jones, G. M.|
|Gibson, R. (Greenock)||Lunn, W.||Ritson, J.|
|Graham, D. M. (Hamilton)||Macdonald, G. (Ince)||Robinson, W. A, (St. Helens)|
|Green, W. H. (Deptford)||McEntee, V. La T.||Sexton, T. M.|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A.||McGhee, H. G.||Silkin, L.|
|Grenfell, D. R.||McGovern, J.||Silverman, S. S.|
|Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth)||MacLaren, A.||Simpson, F. B.|
|MacMillan, M. (Western Isles)||Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)|
|Griffiths, J. (Llanelly)||Mainwaring, W. H.||Smith, E. (Stoke)|
|Grovel, T. E.||Marshall, F.||Smith, T. (Normanton)|
|Guest, Dr. L. H. (Islington, N.)||Maxton, J.||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Hall, G. H. (Aberdare)||Messer, F.||Stephen, C.|
|Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)||Milner, Major J.||Stewart, W. J. (H'ghfn-le-Sp'ng)|
|Hayday, A.||Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.)||Summerskill, Dr. Edith|
|Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)|
|Henderson, J. (Ardwick)||Muff, G.||Tinker, J. J.|
|Henderson, T. (Tradeston)||Nathan, Colonel H. L.||Tomlinson, G.|
|Hicks, E. G.||Naylor, T. E.||Viant, S. P.|
|Hills, A. (Pontefract)||Noel-Baker, P. J.||Watkins, F. C.|
|Hollins, A.||Oliver, G. H.||Watson, W. McL.|
|Hopkin, D.||Paling, W.||Welsh, J. G.|
|Jagger, J.||Parker, J.||Westwood, J.|
|Jenkins, A. (Pontypool)||Parkinson, J. A.||Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)|
|Jenkins, Sir W. (Neath)||Pearson, A.||Williams, T. (Don Valley)|
|Jones, A. C. (Shipley)||Pethick-Lawrenee, Rt. Hon. F. W.||Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)|
|Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T.||Poole, C. C.||Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)|
|Kirby, B. V.||Price, M. P.||Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)|
|Kirkwood, D.||Pritt, D. N.||Young, Sir R. (Newton)|
|Lansbury, Rt. Hon. G.||Quibell, D. J. K.|
|Lawson, J. J.||Richards, R. (Wrexham)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Leach, W.||Ridley, G.||Mr. Mathers and Mr. Anderson.|
|Logan, D. G.||Riley, B.|
§ Whereupon The CHAIRMAN left the Chair to made his Report to the House.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again To-marrow.
§ The remaining Orders were read, and postponed.