Oral Answers to Questions — Pensions Appeal Tribunals

– in the House of Commons on 26th November 1942.

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Photo of Mr James Milner Mr James Milner , Leeds South East

asked the Minister of Pensions on what date a request was made to the British Medical Association to provide medical men for pensions appeal tribunals; and with what result?

Photo of Mr Walter Womersley Mr Walter Womersley , Grimsby

The Secretary of the British Medical Association acts also as Secretary of the Central Medical War Committee and in that capacity was formally consulted in regard to the medical requirements for the staffing of pensions appeal tribunals.

Photo of Mr Walter Womersley Mr Walter Womersley , Grimsby

I should require notice of that question.

Photo of Mr James Milner Mr James Milner , Leeds South East

In my Question I asked on what date such a request was made and with what result. Will the right hon. Gentleman answer the Question?

Photo of Mr Walter Womersley Mr Walter Womersley , Grimsby

I cannot give the exact date, because we have applied several times. We are always applying and inquiring, and the answer has been that the personnel was not available.

Photo of Mr James Milner Mr James Milner , Leeds South East

Is it not a fact that the right hon. Gentleman has never made a single formal request to this Association for the provision of medical men?

Photo of Mr James Milner Mr James Milner , Leeds South East

Then will the right hon. Gentleman say on what date the request was made?

Photo of Mr Walter Womersley Mr Walter Womersley , Grimsby

I cannot give the date. That is a definite answer.

Photo of Mr James Milner Mr James Milner , Leeds South East

Will the right hon. Gentleman be in a position to give me the date next week?

Photo of Mr Walter Womersley Mr Walter Womersley , Grimsby

I can give it to-day if the hon. and gallant Gentleman wants it.

Photo of Sir Francis Fremantle Sir Francis Fremantle , St Albans

Will my right hon. Friend take it from me that the British Medical Association say that they have received no such request?

Photo of Mr James Milner Mr James Milner , Leeds South East

asked the Minister of Pensions on what date was a request made or a direction given to the Medical Personnel Priority Committee to provide medical men for pensions appeal tribunals; and with what result?

Photo of Mr Walter Womersley Mr Walter Womersley , Grimsby

I consulted the Medical Personnel (Priority) Committee on 24th October, 1941.

Photo of Mr James Milner Mr James Milner , Leeds South East

While admitting that it is extremely difficult, is it not a fact that since that date, nor indeed at any time, has the right hon. Gentleman made a formal request for the provision of medical personnel?

Photo of Mr Walter Womersley Mr Walter Womersley , Grimsby

No, Sir. I am keeping in close touch with the Service Departments, and in the case of every medical officer who is discharged from the Departments, I take into consideration whether he will be suitable for this work or not. I am constantly reviewing the position, day by day.

Photo of Sir Ian Fraser Sir Ian Fraser , Lonsdale

Will the right hon. Gentleman ask the B.B.C. to invite medical men to apply for these jobs?

Photo of Mr Walter Womersley Mr Walter Womersley , Grimsby

I have advertised in the medical Press, and I have had a certain number of replies. If the hon. and gallant Member saw the comments alongside the applications after I have made my inquiries, he would know exactly the difficult position I am in.

Photo of Sir Ian Fraser Sir Ian Fraser , Lonsdale

Does that mean that my right hon. Friend wants to handpick these men?

Photo of Sir Francis Fremantle Sir Francis Fremantle , St Albans

asked the Minister of Pensions what steps he has taken with the Central Medical War Committee to find out what medical men are available and suitable for service on the proposed pensions tribunals?

Photo of Mr Walter Womersley Mr Walter Womersley , Grimsby

The Central Medical War Committee was consulted by the Medical Personnel (Priority) Committee when the latter body was asked to consider the availability of medical men for pensions appeal tribunals.

Photo of Sir Francis Fremantle Sir Francis Fremantle , St Albans

Does my right hon. Friend know that at a meeting of the Committee last Friday, at which I was present, they said they had had no applications whatever, and that the Secretary of the Priority Committee also told me so?

Photo of Mr Walter Womersley Mr Walter Womersley , Grimsby

I have given my answer, and it is correct, whatever my hon. Friend's information may be.

Photo of Sir Francis Fremantle Sir Francis Fremantle , St Albans

Will my right hon. Friend make a definite application to the Central Medical War Committee to ask them if they will make inquiries as regards all the men who are constantly being turned out of the Services and many of whom would be very useful in this way?

Photo of Mr Walter Womersley Mr Walter Womersley , Grimsby

I am quite willing to receive applications from anyone or to consult with anyone, and if my hon. Friend has the names of any medical men to submit to me, I shall be very pleased.

Photo of Sir Francis Fremantle Sir Francis Fremantle , St Albans

Will my right hon. Friend make a definite application to the Secretary to make inquiries?