§ 37. Colonel Lord HENRY CAVENDISH-BENTINCK
asked the Pensions Minister whether he is aware that the War Office has refused to continue the arrangement arrived at whereby surgical and medical treatment have been hitherto provided for discharged and disabled soldiers; and, seeing that in consequence of this refusal the number of discharged soldiers who require further treatment but who cannot obtain it is large, will he say what steps he proposes to take?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of PENSIONS (Sir Arthur Griffith-Boscawen)
I am quite aware of the action of the War Office, which has resulted in a shortage of beds for discharged soldiers, especially for those suffering from the results of wounds and injuries, owing to the closing of the military orthopædic centres.
The Minister of Pensions has been in communication with the War Office on the subject, and, as a result, the latter have agreed (1) not to acquire any further accommodation in civil hospitals for serving soldiers; and (2) gradually to release for the use of the Ministry of Pensions a number of beds in civil hospitals now reserved for serving soldiers. The necessary instructions to this effect have been issued to local military authorities. In addition to this, the Minister of Pensions is taking steps to provide institutions himself. A large number of beds have already been provided for neurasthenic, epileptic, paraplegia and advanced cases of tuberculosis, and three orthopedic clinics have been opened in Scotland for out-patients. A large number of similar institutions are now in course of provision in all parts of the country.