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Friday, 28 May 1926

Senator CRAWFORD (QUEENSLAND) (Honorary Minister) - On the 20th

May, Senator Grant asked the following questions : -

1.   Is it a fact, as stated in the press, that Private E. Genner, of Bathurst, New South Wales, was passed by a military doctor as lit for military duty, and afterwards arrested for refusing to perform military duty on account of illness?

2.   Is it a fact that this private was placed in a cell, and that he remained there all night?

3.   Is it a fact that, in the morning, on ac count of his critical state, he was again brought before the same doctor, and sent at once to the hospital to be operated on for appendicitis?

4.   Can the Minister give any information as to the result of the inquiry that has been held regarding the matter?

I am now in a position to furnish the following replies: -

1.   Yes.

2.   Yes.

3.   Yes.

4.   An exhaustive inquiry has been made, into this matter, and it has been found that Private Genner was examined toy a medical officer on the 20th March;but, as appendicitis in its early stages is difficult to detect, he was pronounced as fit for duty, and the medical officer concerned cannot he blamed. The company officer and sergeant of the guard would have been wise to have had him re-examined when he refused duty and was placed in the guard-room two hours afterwards. It is considered this is one of the regrettable incidents that may happen when dealing with thousands of trainees, in spite of the many safeguards and the vigilance displayed by the military and medical authorities. Action is being taken to ensure that the field officer of the day, when visiting the guard-room, takes steps in future to determine whether a traineeshould undergo medical re-examination. This will stop other such incidents recurring.

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