HC Deb 07 March 1946 vol 420 cc126-7W
Sir E. Graham-Little

asked the Secretary of State for War if he will inquire into the position of specialist medical officers serving in West Africa, examples of whose dissatisfaction have been furnished to him, because they are at present employed, not as specialists, but on general duties, largely administrative, and in numbers that are redundant; and if he will rectify this position.

Mr. Lawson

Because of the scattered nature of the West African Command, the great distances involved and poor communications it is impossible to secure the same concentration of specialist facilities as is possible in a more compact command. In order to ensure that the services of specialists are always readily available it is necessary to maintain an adequate specialist establishment at a number of different centres. This means that some specialists will not always be employed full time on specialist duties and in such cases a specialist is required to undertake a share of general medical duty.

I am making inquiries into the three cases referred to in the correspondence sent to me by the hon. Member and I will ensure that any specialist who is being employed whole time on general duties is either repatriated to the United Kingdom for release or transferred to another command where he can be employed in his speciality.