§ 4. Mr. Dodds
asked the Secretary of State for War on what date 22747580 Signalman K. F. Davis, 31, Cedar Road, Slade Green, Kent, was called up; how long he has been in hospital with rheumatic fever; when it is expected that he will be able to leave the Military Hospital, Catterick; on what date an Army medical board recommended his discharge from the Army on account of a severe degree of flat feet; and how far this physical defect developed during the three months Signalman Davis was in the Service before the medical board's recommendations were made.
§ Mr. Head
This soldier was called up on 4th December, 1952. He appeared before the Army medical board which recommended his discharge on account of osteo-arthritis of the middle joints of his left foot on 16th March this year. He was in the Military Hospital, Catterick, suffering from rheumatic fever from 25th March this year until 9th July when he was discharged to his home. There is no evidence that his physical defect made any material progress during his service. He reported sick for the first time on account of his feet on 17th February this year and an orthopaedic specialist was called in and arranged for an X-ray photograph to be taken which disclosed this condition. Steps were therefore taken to invalid him from the Service.
§ Mr. Dodds
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this man went in wearing arch supports which were broken on a route march in the beginning of February, that since then he has not had any arch supports for his feet and has now left the Army without them? How can the right hon. Gentleman say that he was out on 9th July when from the War Office on 30th June I was told that:he is progressing slowly but has not yet sufficiently recovered to be able to get up.1870 or to leave hospital? Why was there indecent haste once the Question was on the Order Paper to get this man out of camp in a matter of hours? Can the right hon. Gentleman explain how in this letter from the War Office——
§ Mr. Head
So far as the diagnosis and when he developed rheumatic fever are concerned, I could not say. That is a matter for the medical specialists. Regarding the man's feet, I am quite prepared to take responsibility for everything to do with the War Office, but the actual admission boards for National Service are a matter for the Ministry of Labour. On their behalf I would say the man did not make any reference to any foot disability and men are entitled to do so.
§ Mrs. Braddock
How long is it after a class III man is called up that a full medical examination takes place in the Forces to check whether the examination by the Ministry of Labour is a fit examination meeting the actual case of the person concerned?
§ 8. Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton
asked the Secretary of State for War if he will agree to the release from the Army of Mr. D. A. Rose, of Balvraid Farm, Inverness, in view of the fact that his absence in the Service will necessitate his father having to sell the farm.
§ Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton
Is my right hon. Friend aware that this decision may vitally affect the whole future of this man and the N.F.U. have strongly supported the case for his release? Is he aware that a great deal of concern is caused locally because it is felt that a lot of other people have been released for less valid reasons?
§ Mr. Head
There are two points. The farm was bought in May, 1951, when this man's father must have known that the son would be due for call-up. Secondly, when he came before the board he obtained deferment, but he never applied for subsequent deferment. I cannot see that any circumstances have arisen since which have altered the situation.
§ Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton
This is a family working their own farm. They are busy working all day and it is quite impossible for them to comply with all bureaucratic instructions. Surely they can be given consideration?
§ Mr. Manuel
Can the right hon. Gentleman indicate whether or not this family were employed in farming previous to taking over this farm?
§ 9. Mr. Driberg
asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that Mr. Peter R. G. Frostick, 51, Fitches Crescent, Maldon, Essex, Registration Number M.C.D. 3273, who was placed in Grade III at his medical examination on 9th April, 1953, has been posted to the Royal Artillery, Oswestry, with effect from 23rd July; and if, in view of the doubts expressed by an official of the Ministry of Labour, Ipswich, he will further satisfy himself that this man is fit for service in the Royal Artillery before he is required to undertake any military training or duties.
§ Mr. Head
We do allot a limited number of Grade III men to the Royal Artillery because there are certain duties which can be carried out by such men. I understand, however, that Mr. Frostick's enlistment notice was not issued and that the Ministry of Labour are arranging for his physical fitness for Army service to be further reviewed.
§ Mr. Driberg
Will the right hon. Gentleman take particular care about this case, in view of the fact that the written reply given me yesterday by the Ministry of Labour contained a false statement, in that it said that no enlistment notice had been sent to this man? That was simply untrue; he was sent an enlistment notice and a travel warrant, but since these Questions were put on the Order Paper the Ministry wrote and asked for them back.
§ Mr. Shurmer
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Ministry of Labour are having a number of complaints about National Service medical boards? Will he see to it that men are examined again immediately they join their regiments instead of waiting a period of time when they deteriorate as a result of neglect by the Ministry of Labour?
§ 13. Mr. Hannan
asked the Secretary of State for War when the hon. Member for Maryhill may expect an answer to his letter of 17th June, 1953, concerning an adjustment of pension for one of his constituents.
§ Mr. Hannan
Can the Secretary of State estimate how much longer I should have been required to wait had this Question not been put down? Does he appreciate not only that there has been delay in replying to me but that my constituent has waited nine months for a reply from the War Office to his application for a pension as he was wrongly assessed in 1948. What steps has the Secretary of State taken to overcome the back-log on these cases?
§ Mr. Steele
As functions are being transferred from the Ministry of Pensions to the Ministry of National Insurance, would it not be possible to have these pension cases dealt with by the Ministry of National Insurance? I am convinced that if these people had been visited by the welfare officers the delay would not have occurred.
§ Sir H. Williams
On a point of order. Is it in order to ask supplementary questions about a matter which is not stated in the Question?
§ 15. Mr. E. Johnson
asked the Secretary of State for War what efforts have been made to trace the civilian clothing handed in by 22864254 Private T. Morris, Royal Army Service Corps, at Blenheim Barracks, Aldershot, on 14th April last, for dispatch to his home in Manchester and which has not yet arrived; and with what result.