HC Deb 18 February 1942 vol 377 cc1786-8
34. Mr. Woods

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty the arrangements for leave for men serving in the Navy?

The First Lord of the Admiralty (Mr. A. V. Alexander)

Since the reply is rather long, I will, with my hon. Friend's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Woods

Could my right hon. Friend arrange that at least these men get leave at the end of their initial training period?

Mr. Alexander

We do our best to meet the conditions. Perhaps my hon. Friend will look at the answer which I shall circulate, and then, if he likes to put a further Question to me, I shall be glad to answer it.

Following is the reply:

The general arrangements for leave for Naval personnel are as follow:

(1) Seagoing Ships.—(a) Ships based on and regularly working from ports in the United Kingdom:—Subject to the war-time exigencies of the Service a minimum of 14 days' leave a year is given to seagoing ships permanently based in Home Waters. Leave is not restricted by any maximum when circumstances allow of more being given, and as much leave is granted as conditions permit. (b) Home Fleet ships, and other ships which may be employed at home or abroad:—When in Home Waters leave is given as and when circumstances permit, with no restriction on the number of days that may be granted in any one year.

If operational requirements or employment a way from the United Kingdom have prevented grant of leave, it is the intention that officers and men shall receive leave on not less than the foreign service scale shown at (c) below as soon as opportunity arises, e.g. when a long refit in the United Kingdom becomes due, or on paying off, or on the return of individual men to depot. (c) Ships on Foreign Service:—Foreign service leave is granted on the scale of 7 days' leave for each 6 months abroad up to a maximum of 21 days. If drafting requirements permit, an extension of foreign service leave may be granted on the scale of 7 days for every additional 6 months abroad, but when such an extension of leave is given, personnel are warned before proceeding on leave that after 21 days a telegram of recall may be sent.

(2) Stationary Ships, Shore Bases and Shore Establishments.—Leave is given at the discretion of administrative authorities, with a minimum of 14 days a year. Leave on the full peace-time scale must not necessarily be expected. (Note:—Training establishments are dealt with separately in para. 6.)

(3) Drafting leave.—The grant of normal drafting leave is not practicable in war. A few days are given if drafting requirements permit.

(4) Re-engaging leave may be given when practicable, and otherwise may be deferred.

(5) Survivors' leave.—The survivors from a ship sunk are given 14 days' leave on return to their home port depot. This cannot be in addition to foreign service leave the since drafting requirements make such extended leave impracticable; nevertheless, survivors are given every possible consideration in respect of extensions of foreign service leave as mentioned in paragraph 1 (c) above.

(6) Ratings under training.—(a) Boys and Apprentices on long service engagements; the normal peacetime arrangements apply, namely, two weeks leave at Christmas, two weeks at Easter and three weeks at Midsummer. (b) Men whose course of training is short (not exceeding 13 weeks):—A week's leave is granted on completion of training. (c) Men who undergo long training courses (about six months):—One week is given during the course and a further week on its completion.