HC Deb 16 October 1945 vol 414 cc918-9
50. Commander Marsden

asked the Prime Minister if a sufficient period of leave will be given to all officers and men of the R.N., Army and R.A.F. released from Japanese prisoner-of-war camps to enable them to spend the Christmas holidays in their own homes.

The Prime Minister

I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the reply which I gave yesterday to a Question by the hon. and gallant Member for Brighton (Flight-Lieutenant Teeling).

Commander Marsden

I heard that reply and was disappointed with it. May I ask the right hon. Gentleman to recon- sider the matter, and bear in mind that the leave given these men is largely spent in recovering from their hardships, and that Christmas leave is something quite different? May I ask him on this occasion to assert himself and insist on these men spending their Christmas at home?

The Prime Minister

I am sure that if the hon. and gallant Member studied the reply which I gave yesterday, he would see that it is important to do even justice between all men in this case. I suggest that if he studies that reply, he will see that it meets his point and that the kind of over-all priority which he suggests would not be fair or appreciated by the Services.

Mr. Cobb

Would the Prime Minister bear in mind the claims of the Merchant Navy in this respect?

The Prime Minister

It hardly comes in on this Question.