HC Deb 27 February 1940 vol 357 cc1890-1
73. Mr. Rhys Davies

asked the Secretary of State for War whether the General Council and Register of Osteopaths have offered their services to his Department; and whether men serving in the Army will be entitled to the advantages of osteopathic treatment during the emergency?

Mr. Stanley

An offer of services was received last November from the General Council and Register of Osteopaths, and they were informed that the offer was appreciated and that, if those osteopaths who hold a legal qualification to practise medicine in this country would register for military service with the Central Emergency Committee of the British Medical Association, they would be considered for commissions in the Royal Army Medical Corps where they would have opportunities of exercising their special skill.

Vice-Admiral Taylor

Will the services of bonesetters be utilised also, as very useful services can be performed by them?

Mr. Stanley

I do not know whether we have received any communication from bonesetters as such, but their services would certainly be considered, on the same terms as those of osteopaths.

Vice-Admiral Taylor

If the condition is that they have to be registered, there may be no chance of using them.

Mr. Ammon

Does that mean that a man like Sir Ernest Barker is ineligible, in view of his work in the last war?

Mr. Stanley

It is impossible in connection with matters of this kind for the Army to alter the whole of the medical system.

Sir Herbert Williams

Can the Minister say whether all the qualified medical men who join the Army will be compelled to start as stretcher bearers?

Mr. Stanley

Exceptions are made to the rule about service in the ranks in the cases of officers required with special qualifications, for instance, medical qualifications.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

Is not this rather a reflection upon what has become an honourable profession?