HC Deb 21 March 1944 vol 398 cc648-9
14. Mr. Bellenger

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will authorise the grant of two free travel warrants to enable near relations to visit sick or wounded soldier relatives who, although not dangerously ill, are likely to be retained in hospital for an extended period after having returned from long periods of service overseas.

Sir J. Grigg

Wounded and sick soldiers from abroad are sent to hospitals as near their homes as possible. If they are dangerously ill their relatives are given free travel warrants to visit them. Otherwise the relatives pay single fare for a return ticket. These rules apply in the three Services and I regret that I am not in a position to adopt the hon. Member's suggestion.

Mr. Bellenger

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that many of these soldiers, because of their service overseas, have not had the same opportunity of getting free travel warrants and leave as others serving at home; and, in view of their extended detention in hospitals over here, could he not stretch a point and give relatives an opportunity of travelling to see their sick or wounded men, free of cost?

Sir J. Grigg

If the soldiers are dangerously ill, free warrants are issued and If they are not dangerously ill, concession warrants are given. I should think that that is not bad treatment.

Sir Herbert Williams

Can my right hon. Friend arrange to give tickets instead of warrants, in order to eliminate the queues at booking offices?