HC Deb 23 February 1956 vol 549 cc548-9
14. Mr. V. Yates

asked the Minister of Labour why information concerning Brian A. McKeown, of Duddeston, Birmingham, having fallen from a 30-foot roof as a boy, causing damage to his leg and internal injuries, was disregarded at the time of his medical examination for National Service; and why he was placed in medical category A1.

Mr. Iain Macleod

I am making inquiries and will write to the hon. Member as soon as possible.

Mr. Yates

When the Minister is making his inquiries, will he bear in mind that this National Service man specifically states that he gave this information to the medical board at the time, supplemented by information from his mother? Will he also bear in mind that this man has been tortured as a result of three months doing training for which he was totally unfitted? This is a grave situation, and I hope the Minister will seriously investigate it?

Mr. Macleod

I will certainly look into that. I know that the board was aware of the accident mentioned in the Question. I will call for a special report from the board and communicate with the hon. Member.

Mr. G. Brown

Will the Minister go a little wider than this case, as there is a great deal of feeling because many of these cases arise throughout the country? Could he make an inquiry into the operation of the boards in general?

Mr. Macleod

I am always ready to look at that from time to time. Indeed, I looked at the figures only a week or two ago. One figure—if I remember it correctly, and I am sure I do—which I should have thought was very comforting, was that the number of times the original board was found to have made an error was 3 in 10,000 cases. I should have thought that that was a very great tribute to the boards.