Eddie Phillips (Discharge).

Oral Answers to Questions — Military Service. – in the House of Commons on 12th March 1942.

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Photo of Mr Evelyn Walkden Mr Evelyn Walkden , Doncaster

asked the Minister of Labour the physical or medical causes of the discharge of Eddie Phillips from the Royal Air Force; whether he is aware that this unfit ex-airman is now engaged in strenuous training for a championship fight on 16th March; and, so as to remove any misgiving in the public mind, will he ensure that this man's services are better utilised in some other form of military service?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

I am informed that this man was discharged from the Royal Air Force on 30th May, 1941, as physically unfit for further Air Force service, and I understand that it is not the practice to disclose medical particulars of the reasons for discharge. I have no information as to his present activities. As I stated in the House on 9th December last in reply to the hon. Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Bellenger), I do not propose to call up again for service men who have been discharged during the present war on medical grounds.

Photo of Mr Evelyn Walkden Mr Evelyn Walkden , Doncaster

Is there not a weak link in these Royal Air Force medical tribunals which discharge a boxer who appears to be as physically fit as a Commando, while at the other end recruits are retained in the Service who are disabled, deformed, and partially blind, but who appear to do a useful job of work and do it with distinction?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

Obviously, the medical boards which discharge men from the Services are not under my jurisdiction. I think this question should be addressed to the Secretary of State for Air.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

Will the Minister see to it that this man is not allowed to go into the ring if he is medically unfit?