Discharged Men (Re-Examination).

Oral Answers to Questions — Military Service. – in the House of Commons on 19th March 1942.

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Photo of Sir John Mellor Sir John Mellor , Tamworth

asked the Minister of Labour why he declines to apply the provisions of Section 4 of the National Service (No. 2) Act, 1941, to any person discharged on medical grounds from one of the Forces who may, subsequently, be found fit for service in the same Force or in one of the other Forces.

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

Cases in which a man discharged from the Forces on medical grounds might subsequently be found fit for service should be relatively few, and are likely to give rise to conflicts of medical opinion; for these reasons, as I explained in the House on 9th December, 1941, during the passage of the National Service Bill, I think it is better to take a clear cut line and not to call up such men again for the Forces. They will be directed where necessary into industry.

Photo of Sir John Mellor Sir John Mellor , Tamworth

How can the right hon. Gentleman expect medical boards to foresee with certainty that some men may not become fit for service at a later date, and why should not such men be re-examined after a reasonable interval of time?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

In my view it would be likely to cause more heartburning, trouble and mistakes than the State would gain. If a man has been discharged for medical reasons—and he has to undergo a very strict examination before any of the Services let him go—I had better use his services in industry rather than put him through all that again.