HC Deb 01 July 1943 vol 390 cc1765-6
27. Mr. Rhys Davies

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that Mr. Arthur William Pettet, 26, Marlborough Road, South Chingford, London, E.4, has been expelled from the National Deposit Friendly Approved Society because he served six months' imprisonment as a conscientious objector to military service; that an ,appeal against the decision of the society was upheld by the Referee, Mr. Kennett Macmorran; whether in view of the fact that Pettet has already suffered for his offence, he will take steps to wipe out this additional penalty by restoring the man to membership of his approved society, and how many approved societies, giving their titles, have adopted this punitive policy?

Mr. E. Brown

I am aware of this case, but I would point out that under Section 163 (4) of the National Health Insurance Act, 1936, the Referee's decision is final and conclusive. With the exception of a similar one in the same society, no other case of the kind has come to my notice.

Mr. Davies

Does the right hon. Gentleman think really it is fair that a man having already atoned for an offence and served six months' imprisonment should be penalised further by being expelled from his approved society? Cannot he take some action to prevent this persecution?

Mr. Brown

The hon. Gentleman asks my opinion on the matter. That is not in the Question. The position is that the competent authority under the law has made a decision, and it is final.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

Cannot something be done in this case? Further, when the Beveridge proposals are initiated will he be able to take further steps to deal with the matter?

Mr. Davies

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I will raise the matter on the Adjournment.