§ 27. Mr. Chapman
asked the Secretary of State for War what applications were received, other than from the hon. Member for Northfield, for the repatriation of 22971062 D. Hughes, on the grounds of his mother's serious illness; why previous applications were not dealt with; and whether he will in the circumstances have this man brought home by air.
§ Mr. Chapman
I am much obliged. But was not an application also made by the lady almoner at the Selly Oak Hospital a long time ago and disregarded by the War Office?
§ 28. Mr. Chapman
asked the Secretary of State for War why, in the case of a Royal Army Medical Corps corporal, about whom the hon. Member for Northfield has had correspondence and interviews with him, he maintained his refusal to cancel an overseas posting, requested on the grounds of the mother's illness following the recent death of her husband, until the mother was admitted to a mental hospital as a result of receiving the final refusal.
§ Mr. Chapman
Is it not the fact that, in view of the element of doubt in this case, I altered my plea to one of keeping 196 the man here for, say, three months, so that the woman could get over the death of her husband? Would that not have been a human and generous thing to have done? Can we take it that the War Office will be completely inelastic in these matters in future?
§ Mr. Head
No, Sir; we are far from inelastic. I believe that the hon. Member talked to my hon. Friend about this matter. We have to combine medical and human reasons and to decide what should be done. We have had no fewer than 300 people flown back from the Middle East in the last six months, and a great deal of this kind of thing is done. This case was not considered worthy at the time, but it now is.