HC Deb 14 August 1919 vol 119 cc1647-9W

asked the Secretary of State for War (1) if he is aware that the contract under which a number of medical practitioners hold temporary commissions in the Royal Army Medical Corps will expire on the date on which the termination of the War is officially declared; and what arrangements have been made to enable those practitioners now serving in India and Mesopotamia to return to this country immediately on the termination of their contracts?

(2) if he will state under what authority medical and other officers are being temporarily retained in India; and what steps are being taken to ensure the immediate release of those medical officers who were marked for early demobilisation by the Ministry of National Service prior to April of this year?


asked the Secretary of State for War whether, in view of the fact that Royal Army Medical Corps officers in India serving under yearly contracts are to be demobilised previously to those who volunteered for the duration of the War, he will consider the claim to compensation of officers of the latter category whose practices, which they have built up by their exertions and for which they paid substantial sums, have been virtually ruined and absorbed by the large number of medical officers demobilised from France and other theatres of war; and whether he will state how many temporary medical officers, exclusive of sick, have been sent home from India since the Armistice and how many remain in India?


Temporary medical officers are being retained in India under the terms of their contracts which render them liable for service for the duration of the present emergency. The only officers who are serving on yearly contracts are those who are not liable to the Military Service Act and cannot therefore be retained beyond the termination of their contracts. The contracts of temporary officers serving for the duration of the present emergency terminate on the statutory date for the end of the War, and everything possible will be done to enable them to be returned to the United Kingdom by that date. In the event of this being effected, the question of compensation does not arise. One hundred and forty-five temporary, special reserve, and territorial force officers (exclusive of sick), have been sent home since the Armistice, and 335 remain, including 100 officers temporarily detained while en route from Mesopotamia, on account of the situation prevailing in India. I would add that every available medical officer who is liable for further service is being placed under orders for India or Egypt in order no relieve those who have been asked for by the Ministry of National Service.