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Wednesday, 27 November 1935

Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - On the 15th November, 1935, Senator Cooper asked the Minister representing the Minister for Repatriation the following questions, upon notice: -

1.   Is it a fact that a new knee-action artificial leghas been invented by a well-known firm of British limb manufacturers, and taken over by the British Ministry of Pensions for issue to returned soldiers who have suffered above-knee leg amputations?

2.   Is it a fact that a pattern of this knee has for some time past been in the possession of the Repatriation Commission in Australia?

3.   If so, is the new design of knee to be used in the artificial leg issued to returned soldiers with above-knee amputations?

4.   In the event of the new knee being incorporated in the limb to be issued, when will limbs of the new design be available to limbless soldiers desiring the new knee?

The Minister for Repatriation has sup plied the following answers: -

1.   Yes. The contract entered into by the Ministry of Pensions with a private firm of limb-makers for the manufacture and repair of artificial replacements and surgical aids provides for the supply, where required, of a new device of friction knee joint. By this device the degree of stiffness of the knee action can be adjusted by the wearer.

2.   Yes.

3.   The new device is not usable for all types of above-the-knee amputations. It is being thoroughly tested by the commission's technical adviser at the Common wealth Artificial Limb Factory. In some cases it has been demonstrated that the type of friction kneejoint already in use at the Commonwealth Artificial Limb Factory is more suitable - this applies particularly where the amputee has a very long stump.

4.   The answer to this question depends upon the result of the investigation mentioned in 3 above. If the device is adopted, it will not be necessary to issue new metal limbs as the adjustment can bo inserted into friction kneejoints at present in use.

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