HC Deb 23 November 1939 vol 353 cc1371-2
7. Dr. Howitt

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that many men who have been passed fit by medical recruiting boards have very soon been found to be far from fit; and whether he will take steps to see that all such mistakes are reported at once to the medical board which passed the man a fit and so prevent the recurrence of such cases?

Mr. E. Brown

My information does not confirm my hon. Friend's statement that many men are found to be unfit for service after medical examination, but I am carefully examining the position and will give consideration to his suggestion in the course of my examination. A few cases have been brought to my notice, and I have always arranged for reexamination.

Dr. Howitt

Does not the right hon. Gentleman realise that a lot of unnecessary suffering is caused by unfit men being passed for active service, and may I ask whether it would be possible for the boards to have the power to refer doubt-lul cases to specialists before the men are passed?

Mr. Brown

It is facts of that kind which I am now examining.

Mr. R. Gibson

Are these the same medical men who are employed by the Ministry of Pensions and always find the men they examine fit to work?

Mr. Brown

The medical board consists of a chairman and four other medical men.