asked the Under-Secretary of State for War if he is aware that in the notices calling up rejected men for re-examination the paragraph stating that the recruit will not be called up for service with the Colours if again rejected is now being struck out; by what authority is this being done; and whether it is the policy of the War Office to cripple the Army still further by enlisting men medically unfit in addition to those already filling our hospitals?
§ Mr. MACPHERSON
There is no paragraph in the form of notice calling rejected men up for medical re-examination under the Military Service (Review of Exceptions) Act, 1917, stating that the recruit will not be called up for service with the Colours if again rejected. It is not the policy of the War Office to enlist men for any form of service for which they are medically unfit.
asked the Undersecretary of State for War if, as stated by the military representative to the Carnarvon Borough Tribunal, unless they have applied to a tribunal for exemption within thirty days after the date of the notice calling them up for re-examination, rejected men who on re-examination are again rejected may later be conscripted into the Army without the right of appeal; if so, by what authority the right of appeal up to date of final calling up for service conferred on all men by Act of Parliament is being denied; and whether he will instruct his officers to discontinue breaking the law?
§ Mr. MACPHERSON
A man upon whom a notice under the Military Service348W (Review of Exceptions) Act, 1917, has been properly served is deemed to have been enlisted and transferred to the Reserve under the Military Service Acts, 1916, upon the "appointed date," which date is the thirtieth day after the date of the notice. Under the Military Service Act a man's right of application to a tribunal for exemption extends only to the appointed date. There is no statutory right of appeal up to the date of final calling up for service. The hon. Member is under a misapprehension on this point. It has been recognised by the War Office, however, to be undesirable that when on a first examination a man has not been accepted for service his application should be considered and decided by a tribunal on a date at which he is not available to be called up for military service. It has therefore been arranged that when a first application has been lodged with a tribunal before the appointed date, but has beer, withdrawn after the man has not been accepted for service, or when no application at all has been lodged in a case where a man on re-examination has not been accepted for service, then, if on a later date the man is again re-examined and accepted for some form of service and has been called up for service, the tribunal should entertain an application on his behalf, although technically out of date, if such application is lodged within seven days after the date of the notice calling the man up for service. This concession is being embodied in a circular letter to tribunals which I am informed is on the point of issue by the Local Government Board.
§ Mr. JOWETT
asked the Under Secretary of State for War if his attention has been called by letter, dated 4th April last, which letter was accompanied by documents showing that before being called up for re-examination and passed into the Army, classified C2, for home service, Private Arthur Walker, No. 47612, 12th Lincolnshire Labour Battalion, had been several times rejected on account of rupture, bad feet, bad eyes, and rheumatism; whether, notwithstanding his physical condition and his medical classification for home service, Private Walker has since been sent to France and has been employed there on heavy railway work; if he is aware that it has been necessary to send Private Walker to a convalescent camp owing to the effect of the 349W heavy work referred to on his rupture; if he will ascertain whether Private Walker was given the special medical examination to which Class 2 men are entitled before they are sent overseas; and if he will also ascertain what is his present condition?
§ Mr. MACPHERSON
I have already informed my hon. Friend in a letter of the 22nd May. This man has proceeded overseas, and if he should not feel able to do his work he can report sick and be medically examined. I am, however, making further inquiries as to his present condition.
§ Mr. JACOBSEN
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War if any special instructions have been issued to Army medical authorities in connection with re-examinations under the Military Service (Review of Exceptions) Act; whether such instructions were approved by and issued after consultation with the Chief Army medical authority; and if he will supply copies to Members of this House?
§ Mr. MACPHERSON
No special or secret instructions have been issued to the Army medical authorities in connection with these matters beyond those which have already been placed in the Library of the House