HC Deb 26 January 1954 vol 522 cc1589-91
17. Mr. G. Thomas

asked the Minister of Labour his intentions with regard to the conscription of the Cardiff man, whose name has been supplied to him, who has been classified in medical category grade I for National Service despite the fact that he has been in attendance at the Cathedral Road Tuberculosis Clinic for six years, has had three lung operations, and is suffering from a rheumatic heart.

Mr. Watkinson

The tuberculosis clinic has confirmed that there is no evidence of present disease. The lung

on his list? As he is aware, that very large surplus of dockers on Merseyside is causing very great concern in the industry. What steps is he taking to deal with the position?

Mr. Watkinson

The average daily surplus for the group during the year was 1,299, as compared with 3,593 in the same period last year. I will send the hon. Lady full details.

Following are the figures:

operations in early infancy have no present significance, and there is no evidence that rheumatic fever at the same time has had any residual effect on the heart condition. The man's call-up is suspended to permit inquiry into further statements by his mother, and I hope my readiness to make such inquiries will reassure the hon. Member and the House of my earnest desire not to call up any man of whose fitness for service there is any doubt. My final decision must, however, be based on the best available medical evidence.

Mr. Thomas

While thanking the hon. Gentleman for his reasonable statement, may I ask whether he is aware that this action has only been taken following upon the Question appearing on the Order Paper of the House, that he himself sent me a letter, when I had brought all these facts to his notice, still insisting that the man must do his service, and finally that I am very grateful that publicity has led to action?

Mr. Watkinson

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman. As I have said, all we want to do is to get these things right.