HC Deb 17 October 1939 vol 352 cc669-70
34. Major Milner

asked the Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been drawn to the dissatisfaction of sanitary inspectors in being debarred from receiving commissioned rank in the hygiene companies of the Royal Army Medical Corps, and that in consequence they have been greatly discouraged in offering their services in response to the recent appeal for the enlistment of sanitary assistants into the above corps; and whether, in view of their qualifications and experience in sanitary administration, commissions in the above companies will in future be made available to sanitary inspectors of suitable merit?

Mr. Hore-Belisha

As officers of field hygiene sections are called in to advise on all matters affecting the health of the troops, it is essential that these appointments should be held by specially qualified medical men, so long as these are available.

Major Milner

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that these men have high special qualifications, and will he not reconsider the question in view of the fact that commissions in the past have been granted to other than medical men?

Mr. Hore-Belisha

I desire to give the troops the most qualified services that are procurable, and for that reason commissions in the Royal Army Medical Corps are reserved for doctors. Naturally one considers any proposals which may be made, but at the moment I cannot accede to it.