HC Deb 19 November 1917 vol 99 c863
81. Mr. E. HARVEY

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether his attention has been called to the strain on the health of men working on motor patrol boats in the Eastern Mediterranean owing to their cramped quarters and the heat during a large part of the year, and to the fact that many have served in these conditions for prolonged periods without any furlough, and that this applies with special force to the motor engineers; and whether arrangements can be made to grant furloughs to all such men at least after eighteen months' service?


The difficulties in the way of a general system of reliefs for the personnel of motor launches in the Mediterranean are considerable, but, so far as is practicable, those who have been longest abroad are already in process of being relieved. Cases requiring exceptional treatment are represented by the senior naval officer concerned, and such officers and men are immediately relieved and brought home.


Will special attention be given to the case of motor engineers, in view of the cramped and unhealthy conditions under which their work is done?


We quite recognise the nature of the service these men are giving and the climatic conditions. Subject to the exigencies of the Service, we shall certainly do what we can to secure leave for them.


Is the whole question of leave on this station being considered, as many of the men have been out well over two years?


All I can say is that we are doing the best we can in the circumstances in which we find ourselves.