asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that Service men and women receiving treatment for venereal diseases, in Service hospitals, are made to pay hospital charges, whereas the Ministry of Health insist on free treatment for civilians; and whether he will consider removing this discrimination?
If a soldier needs hospital treatment for sickness due to his own fault, he is required to make a contribution of 1s. 6d. a day towards the cost of his treatment. As at present advised I am not convinced that the change suggested by my hon. Friend is desirable.
The second part of the question is an assertion which I am not prepared to accept. I am keeping in touch with other quarters where the opposite rule is in force, and I shall benefit from their experience if my opinion is wrong and that of the hon. Member is right.
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will make inquiries as to the adequacy of the instructions being given to men in the Army on the subject of venereal disease; whether he is aware that there is still a general lack of knowledge on this matter in the Forces; whether any additional action was taken following upon the adoption of the Defence Regulation; and whether he will consider the desirability of showing the films dealing with this subject and issuing further literature by the British Council for Social Hygiene to the troops?
All officers in medical charge of units have been instructed to give periodical lectures to troops on the subject of venereal disease. Education of any kind is a slow process, but I am satisfied with the progress being made. Notice Board Information No. 28 explained the purpose of Defence Regulation 33B and the action soldiers should take as a result of it. The possibility of issuing films and literature on this subject has not been overlooked, but it is not thought that any at present available would prove effective.