HC Deb 22 June 1955 vol 542 cc1292-3
15. Mr. Hamilton

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air how many National Service men have been accepted into the Royal Air Force in each of the last three years; how many were discharged in each year for physical defects; and how many applications for such discharge were made and rejected.

Mr. Ward

As the reply to the first two parts of the Question is a table of figures, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT. There are standing arrangements for the discharge of any man who is assessed below the medical standard for retention in the Royal Air Force, or whose medical condition makes retention inadvisable. Applications by or on behalf of the man are not necessary, and no central record is kept of any which may be made.

Mr. Hamilton

May I ask the hon. Gentleman for an assurance that if an operation is called for, in the case of a man who has physical defects, and the operation proves successful, such a man will be recalled to the Service, if his physical condition is so improved?

Mr. Ward

I really do not think it would be right to lay down any hard-and-fast rules in these matters. Each case is different, and each one must be considered on its merits.

Mr. Hamilton

Can the hon. Gentleman give any instance of a man having been recalled after an operation has improved his condition to that extent?

Mr. Ward

I should like to have notice of that question.

Following is the table:

1952–53 1953–54 1954–55
Number of National Service men entered 36,130 36,639 36,093
Number of National Service men discharged on medical grounds 1,323 1,115 886
(3.7 per cent.) (3.0 per cent.) (2.4 per cent.)


(1) The years are the financial years in each instance.

(2) The figures given include National Service officers.

(3) The figures for National Service men discharged on medical grounds include discharges on account of mental, as well as of physical, defects. Separate figures for discharges on account of physical defects are not available.