HC Deb 28 January 1941 vol 368 cc408-9
17 and 19. Mr. Silkin

asked the Secretary of State for War (1) whether he is aware that men whose homes are in London are frequently given week-end leave, provided that they do not travel by train; what is the reason for this restriction; and whether it is applied to officers as well as men;

(2) why men on training courses, who normally have no duties between 12 noon on Saturday until Monday morning, are not allowed frequent leave, especially when they are training near their homes?

Captain Margesson

Only a limited proportion of any unit can be allowed to be absent on leave at a time, part on seven days' leave and part on 48 hours' leave. In the latter case, leave is not given to proceed to a place more than 90 miles away. This applies both to officers and to other ranks. Transport difficulties as well as military considerations preclude any relaxation of these limitations.

Mr. Silkin

Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that that is all right so long as the men do not travel by train? Is it right that these restrictions should be applied to soldiers while civilians can travel without any such restriction?

Captain Margesson

As my hon. Friend knows, there are great transport difficulties at the present time. I do not think it would be right to let more than a certain portion of a unit be absent at the same time. These are dangerous days, and I do not think it possible to make any relaxation.

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