HC Deb 10 September 1941 vol 374 cc177-8
36. Captain McEwen

asked the Secre tary of State for War whether it is now considered possible to extend the principle of giving free travelling warrants to officers and men stationed in this country going home on privilege leave so as to cover the four yearly occasions on which this leave is granted?

Mr. Sandys

I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Cheltenham (Mr. Lipson) on 18th June last, of which I am sending him a copy.

Captain Anstruther-Gray

Will my hon. Friend bear in mind that it is impossible for Scottish soldiers and North Country soldiers on lower rates of pay to afford to pay their fare home when stationed in the South and that they are deprived of the benefit of this leave?

Mr. Sandys

I fully realise how welcome such a concession would be to the troops. If financial considerations could be left out of account, no doubt this and other similar concessions would readily be granted.

Captain McEwen

Is the question going to be reconsidered?

Mr. Sandys

I am afraid I am not in a position to extend any hope that this concession will be granted in the near future.

Mr. A. Bevan

Does it not mean that this answer gives rise to the very grave anomaly that men in the Forces who can afford to go on leave are able to do so, and others who are poorer have to remain in camp? As this grave injustice gives rise to considerable dissatisfaction, will the hon. Gentleman realise that the House will not accept the reply he has given and will insist upon the matter being reopened?

Mr. R. J. Taylor

Is the hon. Gentle man aware that there are North of England soldiers in the South of England, and that married soldiers not far away from home in camp have the privilege of two days' leave of which soldiers far removed from home are unable to take advantage simply because they cannot afford it?