Higher Age Groups (Physical Training)

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13 March 1945.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Wilfrid Burke Mr Wilfrid Burke , Burnley 12:00, 13 March 1945

asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that men over 40 years of age are frequently compelled to do physical training and undertake long marches with men of 18 and 19 years of age, often with disastrous effects to their health; and, will he take steps to prevent this.

Sir J. Griģģ:

At primary training establishments, where all entries into the Army are posted for the first six weeks of their training, special tables of physical training have been drawn up for men over 35 years of age. The basic tests carried out in the final week are graded according to the age of the recruit, and each individual test is graded according to the man's progress. For men over 44, the tests are voluntary. I should be grateful to my hon. Friend if lie would forward me particulars of specific cases which have come to his notice. I should be very surprised if the facts would support any such wide gencralisation as is contained in the Question.

Photo of Mr Wilfrid Burke Mr Wilfrid Burke , Burnley

If these facts are established will it mean that the person whose name is produced will be free from all victimisation?

Sir J. Griģģ:

Yes, I can give an absolute guarantee of that.

Major Lloyd:

Are these tests equally applicable to officers and men from sedentary occupations, doing clerical work, and is there any evidence that, because of their sedentary occupations, they find sudden physical effort a great strain at a certain age?

Sir J. Griģģ:

I referred to the tests at the primary training centre, when the men first come in. They all have medical examination, and nobody ought to be pressed beyond his physical capacity.