Oral Answers to Questions — Military Hardship Tribunal, Bath (Decision).

– in the House of Commons on 10th March 1942.

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Photo of Mr Cecil Wilson Mr Cecil Wilson , Sheffield, Attercliffe

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether he will inquire into the case of B. L. M. Knott, of Bath, a man of 56 years of age, who was ordered by the Military Hardship Tribunal at Bath, on 11th November, to undertake ground work in the home district; whether he is aware that in November, 1915, Knott was discharged permanently unfit for any form of military service owing to heart disease; that since then he has been repeatedly refused employment on account of rupture; that his painful heart attacks come on frequently rendering him helpless; and, as he is in a condition in which he can never be relied on, why is he ordered ground work and of what does this work consist?

Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Jarrow

I have been asked to reply. I have made inquiries and understand that Mr. Knott did not submit a medical certificate with his application for exemption and that on the information before them the Tribunal took the view that he was fit to perform ground work in the neighbourhood of his home. I understand that ground work comprises fire watching and giving general assistance, but that no climbing of ladders or going on roofs is involved. The Tribunal's decision has been communicated to the local authority, who will no doubt only assign to Mr. Knott such duties as he is capable of performing.

Photo of Mr Cecil Wilson Mr Cecil Wilson , Sheffield, Attercliffe

Is the hon. Lady aware that this man is obliged to carry something with him to counteract these attacks?

Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Jarrow

There is a great deal of work in connection with fire watching which very unfit people, such as women of advanced age, are doing. Presumably it is this kind of work to which he would be assigned by the local authority.

Photo of Mr Cecil Wilson Mr Cecil Wilson , Sheffield, Attercliffe

Has the hon. Lady seen the report which the medical officer to the Assistance Board gave in regard to this man some years ago?

Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Jarrow

I have, of course, read all the papers in connection with the case, but I would point out that the Tribunal's jurisdiction in this matter cannot be interfered with by any Government Department. I am only giving my hon. Friend an explanation of the papers which have reached us.