§ Sir F. LOWE
asked the Secretary to the Local Government Board whether he is aware that before the passing of the Military Service Act, 1918, applicants for exemption could apply to the local tribunals and county tribunal in Birmingham for exemption on medical grounds stated as ground (e) on the application form, and be legally represented at the hearing, and that such local tribunals and county tribunal frequently directed or requested a medical re-examination after having heard a full statement by legal representatives; whether he is aware that the refusal of the county tribunal in Birmingham has prevented the claims of applicants on ground (e) being urged by legal representatives, seeing that the local tribunal has held that they cannot consider ground (e) and are bound by the grade card, and that the county tribunal has decided in nearly every case not to hear such legal representatives; will he say how many cases have been heard by the county tribunal in Birmingham in regard to medical re-examinations; how many applications have been refused leave to go before the medical assessors; and in how many cases has the county tribunal in Birmingham permitted legal representatives to conduct the case of the applicant for medical re-examination; and what action he proposes to take?
§ Mr. HAYES FISHER
It is necessary to distinguish between application for exemption on the ground of ill-health (grounde) and applications to the Appeal Tribunal against the grading by a National Service medical board and for examination by the medical assessors. In the former case the man may be legally represented, both at a local and at the Appeal Tribunal, and no change has taken place in this respect. In the latter case, 1872W where the appeal is against the grading of the National Service medical board, and for examination by the medical assessors there has never been any absolute right to be legally represented, and the position is as stated by me in my reply of the 20th ultimo to the hon. Baronet. No change has been made in this respect. Up to the 25th May 19 per cent. of the applications for examination by the medical assessors was allowed. I have no information respecting the number of cases in which legal representatives have been allowed.