HC Deb 03 August 1943 vol 391 cc2074-5
34. Sir R. Ross

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is in a position to make a statement as to the progress of his reconsideration of the rules governing the attributability of soldiers' disabilities to their military service?

Sir J. Grigg

Soldiers suffering from disabilities are normally given medical attention under Army arrangements so long as there is a possibility that they may again become fit for service. When that possibility disappears, or when the soldier has been absent from duty for nine months, he is discharged from the Army. The decision as to continued treatment or discharge is not influenced by the attributability or non-attributability of the disability.

In the case of officers the arrangement is somewhat different. Wounded officers of all categories may be kept on pay for eighteen months. Regular officers suffering from other disabilities, whether attributable to their service or not, may be kept on pay for twelve months. Non-Regular officers are in the same position as regards attributable disabilities, but in their case if the disability is not attributable to service the limit is six months. Thus there is required of the Army Authorities in this later class of case a decision as to attributability. I am considering, with my Service colleagues and with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the rules governing this class of case require revision.

Sir R. Ross

In view of the fact that it has been under consideration for five or six months can my fight hon. Friend give me any indication when the consideration will be completed?

Sir J. Grigg

I would not like to tie myself to a date, but there will not be any avoidable delay.

Mr. Lipson

Is it proposed to state on the discharge paper whether the discharge was due to military service or not?

Sir J. Grigg

The papers are sent to the Ministry of Pensions in connection with any claims, but the Ministry are not bound to accept the War Office view.