§ 1. Mr. McGovern
asked the Minister of Labour the various medical grades that men are placed in when passed for service by the medical board; whether an appeal against the category is permitted; what form it takes; and whether a man's medical history is allowed to be placed before the board and whether it is considered before he is graded?
§ The Minister of Labour (Mr. Ernest Brown)
I would refer the hon. Member to Regulation 9 of the National Service (Armed Forces) (Miscellaneous) Regulations, 1939, which specify the categories in which men medically examined under the National Service (Armed Forces) Act, 1939, are placed by medical boards. The boards are directed to inquire into a man's previous medical history, and any medical certificate or other documents bearing on his case that he may bring with him to the examination receive the full consideration of the board. The Act makes no provision for appeals against decisions of medical boards. If, however, fresh medical evidence is produced which suggests that a man has been wrongly graded, that evidence is placed before the chairman, and where necessary the man is re-examined.
§ Mr. McGovern
Has the Minister any knowledge that the Government intend to give men an opportunity of appealing against their grades; and is he aware that men have offered to place medical evidence of previous illnesses and diseases before the boards, and that these offers have been rejected?
§ Mr. Brown
I have no evidence of that. I shall be very much obliged to the hon. Member if he can bring me evidence to that effect. In fact, I have had a few cases brought to my knowledge in which re-examination has taken place. A number of cases have been brought to the notice of the chairmen of the boards, and in every case full consideration has been given to it.
§ Mr. McGovern
Would it not be better if the Government were to give the 217 ordinary opportunities, which I think were given in the last war, for a medical board to review, or an appeal board to consider, these cases?
§ Mr. Poole
Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that he promised to look further into the case, although, strangely enough, that promise was not recorded in the OFFICIAL REPORT? In view of the fact that the man is obviously backward physically—as is illustrated by the fact that his height is only 4 ft. 8 ins., and as is confirmed by his own doctor and a minister of religion—does the right hon. Gentleman not think that there is a responsibility upon him to look further into the case?
§ 10. Mr. Jackson
asked the Minister of Labour whether he will arrange for Army medical boards to be held in suitable places in Breconshire and Radnorshire, so that men called up in these counties will not have to spend two nights away from home, or arrange that these men arc paid two days' expenses?