HC Deb 07 December 1943 vol 395 cc767-8
32. Sir A. Knox

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will see that an exception to the ban on Christmas travelling should be made on behalf of recently repatriated prisoners of war and that leave should be given these men in all cases to enable them to spend Christmas with their relatives?

38. Flight-Lieutenant Challen

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will consider granting Christmas leave to prisoners of war who have recently been repatriated and who have been away from their homes for many years?

Sir J. Grigg

I have also received representations on this matter from my hon. Friend the Member for Walsall (Sir G. Schuster). It has been decided to make arrangements on these lines for repatriated prisoners.

Sir Frank Sanderson

Will travel warrants be issued to these men so that they can spend Christmas Day at home, and if these are not so provided will he see that they are?

Sir J. Grigg

I would always assume that if leave were given in these circumstances it was on the basis of free travel.

Mr. Mathers

Is an exception to the general rule also being made within Scotland itself because of the different holiday position there?

Sir J. Grigg

I was not aware that in this matter Scotland was separatist, but I assumed that my answer was universal in its application.

Mr. Neil Maclean

Is it not the case that the New Year is the time for the holiday in Scotland?

Sir J. Grigg

I now see that Scotland is separatist—

Mr. Maclean

It is not part of England yet.

Sir J. Grigg

—and I did not grasp the significance of the difference here, but I will look into that matter.

Mr. Mathers

The right hon. Gentleman misunderstands me. When the matter was first raised it was suggested that there was no need for Christmas restrictions in Scotland. The matter belongs more to the right hon. Gentleman's Department than to the Ministry of War Transport.