HC Deb 22 March 1945 vol 409 cc969-70
19. Mr. Astor

asked the Secretary of State for India what steps have been taken to implement Lord Munster's recommendations on Army welfare.

Mr. Amery

Inter-departmental machinery has been set up to co-ordinate work on the recommendations made by my Noble Friend, and regular progress reports are made to the Prime Minister as well as to the Ministers concerned. While in some instances there are supply and other difficulties which may hinder complete fulfilment of my Noble Friend's recommendations, I can assure my hon. Friend that very substantial progress has been made. The Prime Minister's special representative in the Far East on welfare matters, Lieut.-General King, will shortly be returning to this country on a brief visit to report progress. I should prefer, therefore, not to make any detailed statement at present.

Mr. Astor

Will my right hon. Friend arrange for General King to meet Members of this House who are interested in this matter so that we may hear what success has been achieved in implementing these recommendations?

Mr. Amery

General King is, of course, the Prime Minister's personal representative, but I could make representations to that effect.

Mr. Ellis Smith

If the step suggested by the hon. Member cannot be taken, will the right hon. Gentleman consider issuing a White Paper in order that hon. Members may judge on the improvements that have been made?

Mr. Amery

My Noble Friend's recommendations were covered in a pretty comprehensive White Paper. I doubt whether it is necessary to issue another one, but I hope at a later stage to be able to give fuller details of what has been achieved.

Mr. Evelyn Walkden

Does the right hon. Gentleman recall the promise that we would have an opportunity of discussing Lord Munster's Report, and is he aware that our postbags are now being overloaded with letters which emphasise the need for big changes in the S.E.A.C. area? When shall we have an opportunity of discussing the matter?

Mr. Amery

I think that is not entirely a matter for me to decide.