HC Deb 15 April 1943 vol 388 cc1383-4
47. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Prime Minister whether he will consider granting leave to those in all the Armed Forces who have seen active service abroad and have not had a leave for an extended period after the satisfactory clearing of the enemy forces in North Africa?

The Prime Minister

Everyone will sympathise with my hon. Friend's wish in this matter, but I doubt whether either the military operations or the shipping available will enable any early change to be made in the existing arrangements.

Mr. Smith

I can understand that, but will the right hon. Gentleman ask the Service Ministers to consider the special circumstances of cases where men went away two or three years ago without any leave?

The Prime Minister

I am sure those matters are being considered, but our means of transportation at the present time are limited and, of course, are subject to menace.

Mr. Tinker

Cannot the Prime Minister give some message of hope to such men? It would have a great effect on them.

The Prime Minister

I should hesitate to say anything of an indiscriminate or unpremeditated nature.

Mr. G. Griffiths

Is the Prime Minister aware that some men have been abroad for seven years during which they have not been home?

The Prime Minister

It is the steady policy to try to bring these men home.

Major Petherick

Do the men who have had a long period of foreign service abroad receive special consideration for local leave?