July 31, 1917

LIB
CON

Adelbert Edward Hanna

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANNA:

At the beginning of the war there was no medical officer experienced in examining troops for overseas.

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LIB
LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

Thjs is not Dr. Bruce's opinion. I am giving Dr. Babtie's opinion; but Dr. Babtie, Dr. Bruce and Dr. Jones all agree specifically that this condition has existed in Canada; that it exists without excuse, and that it is a great and unjustifiable burden upon the people of Canada and militates against the military efficiency of our forces overseas. That is the position.

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CON

Hugh Boulton Morphy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MORPHY:

Can the hon. member give me the figures for the 110th Battalion?

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LIB
CON
LIB
CON

Hugh Boulton Morphy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MORPHY:

I do not think the information the hon. member has is accurate.

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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

Either the information that I hold in my hands is cprrect, or it is incorrect. The Militia Department have the information that I profess to be giving to the House, and they can verify it or contradict it at their convenience. As a matter of fact, there is no doubt that the information is correct.

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CON

John Stanfield

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STANFIELD:

Last fall orders were

given that before any troops should pro-

ceed overseas, the medical officer of the battalion had to pass on every man that that man was medically fit for overseas. I know of four battalions. After they arrived in England, they had a great deal of sickness-spinal meningitis, measles and so on. Each week the medical officer of the battalion had to send in a report of the number of men who were fit, and all those men who were quarantined were put down as unfit to go to France. Perhaps that may account for some of the large figures the hon. member has given.

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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

I have given details of

the classes and none of them is in that class. They would be a different class altogether. These are the men who are permanently unfit; that is, they are men who should not have been enlisted and who should not have been passed after they were enlisted.

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CON
LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

That is due to the inexperience of the board. If Dr. Babtie, Dr. Jones and Dr. Bruce do not agree upon anything else, they all agree upon that. It is not my argument or contention; I am giving the very best authority available on the subject. There is no doubt about the facts, and the facts are deplorable. As the matter has not been brought up, I think I can find in Dr. Bruce's report, a list

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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS:

The hon. member said that several hundreds of those were turned down for being under age. He would not call such men permanently unfit.

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LIB
LIB
LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

He has varicocele, senility, too old. Another man has deformed legs. The disabilities of others are: dyspnoea, defective feet, index finger missing; middle finger, left hand deformed, varicocele ; deformed left hand, unable to flex fingers, unable to march; age, varicose veins; over age, rheumatism; age and debility; heavy weight, 215 pounds, with poor feet, unable to march; age and general physical condition; flat feet and fits; bad feet, sluggish mentality; age and debility; myalgia, subject to spells of dizziness; age and debility; chronic bronchitis, over age; age, general physical condition; mentally unfit; hernia, one leg one and one-half inches shorter than the other; varicocele interferes with marching, refuses operation; age and debility; large bunion, age; age and debility; age and debility; weak back; involuntary urination, dyspnoea; age and teeth; deafness and over age; height 4 feet 9 inches, weight 112 pounds, spinal caries; atrophied left arm, no development since nine years; amputated thumb of each hand; glass eye, 1 tooth upper jaw, 17 lower jaw, over age; severe varicocele, asthma, dyspnoea; aortic (regurgitation; deafness both ears.

I am not a medical man, but I think the medical men who are in the House will agree that there could not have been efficient medical examinations, or the men who are in these conditions could not and would not have been enlisted.

So the case is absolutely proven that the Department of Militia in raising these battalions did not employ, as they should have done competent and reliable medical officers. As a result the country hais been saddled with an enormous cost, and the efficiency of our troops at the front has been correspondingly reduced, while the industrial condition of the country has been placed at a disadvantage.

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CON

Michael Steele

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEELE:

These mien my hon. friend has referred to were members of pioneer battalions.

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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

I think my hon. friend

is wrong, hut I do not see that it makes any difference. Some oif these men were of the 52nd, 40th, 44th, 2nd and 1st Pioneer Battalions. If they were not fit for service at the front, it does not matter what kind of a battalion they were enlisted in; we had no business to enlist them, and the Government is responsible for enlisting and having kept them.

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July 31, 1917