HC Deb 31 October 1944 vol 404 cc614-5
32. Sir Irving Albery

asked the Secretary of State for War if next-of-kin can in future be supplied with the address and location of the hospital overseas when husbands or sons are on the dangerously ill list.

Sir J. Grigg

The notification to the next-of-kin of an officer or man that he is lying dangerously ill in a hospital overseas always includes the postal address of that hospital if, as is generally the case, the report from overseas contains that information. For security reasons the postal address, in the case of a hospital in a theatre of war, does not indicate the exact location, but is, of course, sufficient to enable the next-of-kin to communicate with the individual concerned.

Sir I. Albery

Is my right hon. Friend aware that it causes a sense of frustration to the relatives of men on the dangerously iii list when they receive a notification merely that the man is dangerously ill overseas, with no other indication of his whereabouts?

Sir J. Grigg

Yes, Sir, but, as I hope I conveyed, I think that must apply in only a very small minority of the cases, and I do not believe they are at all frequent.

Mr. Bossom

Would the right hon. Gentleman state how long is expected to lapse between the time of the casualty and the notification of the next-of-kin?

Sir J. Grigg

The times differ in different theatres. When active operations are going on and communications have to be built up from behind, they take much longer than if you have a more or less stationary position.