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Dominion Forces (Sick And Wounded Personnel)

Volume 411: debated on Tuesday 29 May 1945

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs if he is now able to circulate in Hansard details of the practice of the various Dominion Forces in the matter of the discharge of sick and wounded Servicemen.

The practice of Dominion authorities in the matter of the discharge of their sick and wounded personnel is as follows:

Canada: No discharge leave as such is granted. Naval personnel discharged to pension are granted pension leave on the scale of 1 month for every 5 years completed service with 1 week for each completed year less than 5 years in the case of officers, and 2 months' leave in the case of ratings. Sick and wounded personnel not to be retained in the Service would be granted normal leave due to them prior to discharge, but no additional leave. Army personnel in hospital at the time of their discharge receive pay and allowances of their rank, up to the rank of Lieutenant, from the Department of Veteran's Affairs. After completion of hospital treatment they receive the rehabilitation grant of 30 days' pay and allowances normally payable to personnel on retirement or discharge. Royal Canadian Air Force personnel requiring medical attention prior to release are retained in the Service or discharged to the Department of Veteran's Affairs for further

treatment and are precluded from receiving leave which they might be granted under ordinary circumstances. Consideration is now being given to the adoption of a policy whereby such personnel might carry forward Service leave which will be granted by the Department of Veteran's Affairs on discharge to civilian life.

Commonwealth of Australia: No discharge leave as such is granted. In wartime naval personnel suffering from disabilities for which they are not themselves responsible, and which necessitate hospital treatment, may, if not previously invalided from the Service, be borne on full pay for a period up to 18 months. Any accrued war service or foreign service leave would normally be deferred until the date of discharge from hospital. In the normal course of their service, Army personnel earn recreation leave for service in S.W.P.A., and war service leave for service abroad outside S.W.P.A. If soldiers do not desire to take accumulated leave they may receive pay and allowances in lieu of such leave at the time of discharge. A soldier does not lose his entitlement to recreation leave by reason of his admission to hospital during such leave. Royal Australian Air Force personnel suffering from some condition which renders them unfit for further service are given any necessary medical treatment and their discharge is only effected: —

  • (a) when they are no longer in need of further active medical treatment as in-patients and are capable of (1) resuming their pre-enlistment occupation; or (2) following some other occupation; or (3) being trained for some skilled occupation; or
  • (b) when they are, whether in need of further active medical treatment or not, unlikely within a reasonable period to improve sufficiently for employment in the general labour market; or
  • (c) when the period of treatment in a Service hospital has totalled six months.
  • In some circumstances the period of treatment may be extended to 12 months.

    New Zealand: In cases where a Medical Board decides that a Service man requires further treatment at a public hospital or convalescent hospital or home, he is not finally disposed of but remains on full pay and allowances so long as he is under treatment. In general, leave is granted at the end of treatment, but in some cases it may be granted while the patient is receiving minor treatment.

    Accrued leave for serving overseas is granted prior to final discharge. A Service man undergoing treatment may elect to be discharged and take the war pension granted to him before the completion of treatment.

    Union of South Africa: If a member of the Union Defence Force is admitted to hospital while on "discharge" leave, such leave is automatically cancelled. He is then borne on strength with full pay and allowances until he is fit to be discharged from hospital, when he is again granted such leave as may be due on discharge from the Service.