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Re-Engagement (Medical Standard)

Volume 416: debated on Thursday 12 April 1945

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asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that No. 4267943, Private D. Williams, Royal Northumberland Fusiliers attached East Yorks Regiment, after 15 years' service in the Army, has been refused permission to sign on for a further period of army service owing to being medically graded category C and is thus thrown on the labour market without a trade and without having served sufficient time to qualify for a pension; and whether he will review this case and issue instructions that when a serving soldier, although of low medical category, is fit for garrison duties and non-operational service he will be permitted to sign on for a further period of peacetime service.

This soldier's regular engagement expired in January, 1943, and he was held to serve on during the war. He applied later for permission to reengage for pension, but he was below the medical standard for re-engagement, and ho was in due course released. Although in wartime it has been necessary to keep men of low category to relieve fit men for more active duty, this could not be done with the restricted manpower normally available to the Army, and I am advised that any relaxation of present standards would have an adverse effect on the efficiency of the Regular Army. I cannot therefore agree to the long-term re-engagement of men below the accepted standard.