HC Deb 23 July 1940 vol 363 cc606-7
63. Mr. Ralph Etherton

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he will modify the previous decision in regard to free postage for troops, so as to allow the issue of a limited number of stamped field cards and also, if possible, one or more stamped envelopes each week to those below the rank of noncommissioned officer serving with the Armed Forces in this country?

Captain Crookshank

Although I have every sympathy with members of His Majesty's Forces and all other classes of the community who, because of their national service, are separated from their families, I am sorry that my right hon. Friend cannot agree to concessions of this nature which would involve a considerable sacrifice of existing revenue.

Mr. Shinwell

Does the right hon. and gallant Gentleman realise that all wages have been increased throughout the in- dustrial sphere while the wages of soldiers have not been increased and that they are compelled to pay more for postage stamps, cigarettes, tobacco and other things? Will he not consider that?

Mr. Etherton

Has my right hon. and gallant Friend made any estimate of what would be the cost of this concession?

Captain Crookshank

The hon. Gentleman had better put that question down. As regards the first question, of course all those matters have been taken into account.

Mr. Lipson

Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that whatever the cost of the concession, the public would be very glad indeed to bear it?

Captain Vyvyan Adams

Could not the concession be given in areas where the censorship operates?