Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard   

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 8 May 1985
Page: 1590

(Question No. 89)

Senator Macklin asked the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, upon notice, on 20 March 1985:

(1) Was Signalman Thomas Peter Gorden Bladen (NX5872) discharged from the Australian Imperial Forces Class D because of a psychopathic personality on 7th October 1943 at the Australian Defence Forces Hospital at Concord, Sydney; if so

(2) Did the Repatriation Board, in Sydney on 1st February 1944, accept this disability, psychopathic personality, as due to the soldier's war service; and

(3) Will the Minister for Veterans' Affairs advise whether there was any supporting evidence, written or otherwise, that this soldier was in fact a psychopath; if there was no supporting evidence, will the Minister explain the reason for such deliberate slander.

Senator Gietzelt —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) Yes.

(2) Yes.

(3) From early 1943 Mr Bladen was for some months in 7 Australian Camp Hospital (ACH) and in May 1943 he was described by an Army medical officer as 'borderline psychosis-schizophrenic'. On 29 July 1943 he was referred to a Medical Board with a provisional diagnosis of 'anxiety state'. He was made Class C and transferred from 7 ACH to 113 Australian General Hospital (AGH), Concord, for further investigation. A medical examination for reclassification on 16 August 1943 recommended Class D and he was referred to a Medical Board on that day with a diagnosis of 'psychopathic personality'. On 26 August 1943 the Medical Board reported that the veteran appeared and felt well but was unlikely to become an efficient soldier. The Board supported the diagnosis 'psychopathic personality' and assessed him Class D. The classification was approved on 1 September 1943. The veteran was transferred out from 113 AGH to General Details Depot on 3 September 1943. His date of discharge from the Army was 7 October 1943.

In early 1981 the veteran contacted the Department of Veterans' Affairs and protested against the diagnosis 'psychopathic personality'. He was referred on 1 April 1981 to a psychiatrist who advised that his disability would be more appropriately described as 'personality disorder with depression'. On 20 May 1981 a delegate of the Repatriation Commission amended the service-related incapacity from 'psychopathic personality' to 'personality disorder with depression'.

I have provided this detailed information because I understand that Mr Bladen has sought it by means of a Parliamentary Question on Notice and Answer.