HC Deb 04 March 1926 vol 192 c1621W

asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been called to the fact that the principal causes of rejection for and discharges from the Army during 1924–25 were diseases of the heart, loss or decay of many teeth, defective vision, defects of lower extremities, insufficient weight, and flat feet; and, if so, what steps does he propose to take to put an end to the conditions out of which these defective conditions of health arise; and does he propose to issue any instructions to the local health authorities as to the measures they should adopt for the prevention of the evils in our social life which the figures reveal?


The reply to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. As regards the second part, the recruits presenting themselves for examination cannot be accepted as a fair sample of the population, but the percentage of rejection requires, and will receive, careful consideration. As regards the third part, the treatment of some of these conditions comes within the scope of medical benefit under the National Health Insurance Acts, but the local sanitary authorities have no power to deal with them, and I do not propose to issue any instructions as suggested by the hon. Member.