HC Deb 13 July 1960 vol 626 cc1376-7
18. Mr. Stratton Mills

asked the Secretary of State for War what is the number of final appeals the War Office Medical Board has heard in the last 10 years as to the medical suitability of candidates for Sandhurst, and the number of times, expressed as a percentage, they have found in favour of the applicant.

Mr. H. Fraser

Precise figures over 10 years are not available, but the records which we have suggest that there were about 60 appeals in that time, of which rather more than half were successful.

19. Mr. Stratton Mills

asked the Secretary of State for War if, in view of the unsatisfactory position arising from the conflict between the leading civilian and military experts as to the medical condition and consequent suitability of a candidate for entry to Sandhurst, particulars of whom have been sent to him by the honourable Member for Belfast, North, he will arrange for an independent examination by a civilian specialist which would be accepted as final by both his Department and the applicant.

Mr. H. Fraser

No, Sir. I sympathise with this young man's anxiety to enter Sandhurst, but his medical condition has been most carefully considered and found to be below the standard required. Medical standards in the Army depend on a knowledge of service conditions, and must remain a matter for decision by my right hon. Friend and his medical advisers.

Mr. Stratton Mills

Is not the precise question in this case whether this boy had renal tract disease or not? If he has that disease, he is obviously unsuited for the Army, but is it not a fact that this disease was first diagnosed by a very junior Army doctor, and that it was then found not to exist by a leading civilian urologist in Britain, Professor Bull, and that that was confirmed by the War Office Board? Will not my hon. Friend seriously look at the matter again to see that appearance is given that this has been the subject of proper civilian scrutiny?

Mr. Fraser

I have gone into this matter with my hon. Friend in the War Office most carefully, and must stick by the decision of the final Army Medical Board.