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Thursday, 25 May 1939

Mr Ward d asked the Minister for Repatriation, upon notice -

What are the ailments or diseases of returned soldiers which are recognizable by the department's medical advisers as being attributable to the inhalation of poison gas or toother forms of exposure to poison gas?

Mr Harrison - The inhalation of the various forms of gas gave rise to varying symptoms and clinical signs in different men. In many cases, the disability in respect of which an ex-soldier is now pensioned can be clearly traced to the effects of such gassing, whilst, in other cases, there is no possible association between the present incapacity and the gassing. It is impossible to say in general terms that any particular ailments are necessarily the result of gassing, and the question has to be determined on the facts in each individual case. Of importance in arriving at such a decision are (a) the records ofthe clinical condition of the ex-soldier following evacuation from his unit and treatment in hospital, and (b) the subsequent service, health and medical history in the years intervening between the date of the gassing and the date of the claim under consideration.

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