§ 33. Mr. LAWSON
asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office why the 1st battalion Northumberland Fusiliers were not given better facilities to meet their relatives on their arrival at Southampton on their way to Egypt?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the WAR OFFICE (Mr. Cooper)
I understand that the arrangements made, with the assistance of the Southern Railway, gave great satisfaction to the troops. If the hon. Member is suggesting that the ship might have been detained longer, I must point out that, apart from any other reason, such a dislocation of the trooping programme is precluded by the expense involved.
§ Mr. LAWSON
Is not the hon. Gentleman aware that it was well known that 700 wives, mothers and children were going from Newcastle to meet these men? Would it not have been possible to give them two or three days' leave rather than to make people go to the dock in comfortless conditions?
§ Mr. COOPER
It would have involved very great expense to have given these men two or three days' leave and to have held up the steamer during this time; also to have provided for the men who did not want leave and to have made similar arrangements for other troops passing from one station to another.