§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
asked the Secretary of State for War what is the general policy of medical demobilisation; why the 1628W promise given by the Ministry of National Service in November, 1918, that the demobilisation of medical men with long service or with practices to return to would be effected rapidly by replacing them with newly qualified graduates has not been given effect to; how many, if any, temporary commissions in the Royal Army Medical Corps have been granted since the Armistice; and why Dr. H. P. Fairlie, No. 4 General Hospital, British Army in France, is not demobilised and allowed to return to his practice?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
The demobilisation of an individual medical officer is left in the hands of the General Officer Commanding in Chief concerned, and the policy is to release first those who, on account of age, length of service, personal hardship, public expediency, etc., are considered most deserving of consideration. It will readily be understood that even then it is impossible to meet every claim, as it is still found necessary to retain certain officers possessed of special qualifications and for whom it is found impossible to find substitutes.
Any applications received by the War Office are given every consideration, and when the claims of either an individual medical officer or the application of any public body for the services of a particular officer come under any of the above categories, every effort is made to obtain his release, but his claim has to be considered in conjunction with the claims of other officers serving in the same Command at home or Expeditionary Force overseas.
No temporary commissions have been granted in the Royal Army Medical Corps since the Armistice, but a new contract has now been approved whereby it is hoped that a large number of recently qualified medical men will volunteer for service overseas, and thus enable those who have served longest to be released. I am informed that Lieutenant H. P. Fairlie has served only since August, 1918, and his claims for early release are not considered as coming within the categories enumerated above.