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Ex-Service Men (A Riley)

Volume 154: debated on Monday 22 May 1922

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asked the hon. Member for Monmouth, as representing the Forestry Commissioners, whether his attention has been drawn to the case of A. Riley, who went through a course of training at the Brockenhurst School, and was subsequently employed by the Forestry Commission on the Allerston estate; whether he is aware that Riley was given notice on the ground that he was unsuited for the work, and that when pressed as to what was meant by this the Commission stated that Riley had displayed little or no interest in his work, and showed no great ability; that Riley, a disabled ex-service man, suffered con siderably in health due to the exposed nature of the work; and that when he completed his course of training he was given certificates showing that he gained the highest percentage of marks for classroom subjects, was studious and thoughtful in the extreme, and was a keen student with a marked degree of efficiency; whether, in finding employment for these trainees, any consideration is given to the physical health of the men; and whether he will have this case inquired into and do whatever is possible to place this man in a position suitable to his health and abilities?

My attention has been drawn to the case of A. Riley. I am aware that he was given notice for the reasons stated; I am unaware that he suffered considerably in health due to the exposed nature of the work. On completion of his course of training he was given an official letter informing him that he had obtained 85 per cent. of the marks awarded for classroom study. He was also given a certificate by the instructor which stated that in the class-room subjects he proved to be a keen student, passing out with a marked degree of proficiency. Afterwards when employed in the field by the Forestry Commission consideration was given to his physical health, and is consequence he was employed as a ganger. Full inquiry into Riley's case has been made, and the Commission do not propose to re-engage him.