HC Deb 24 June 1947 vol 439 cc189-90
26. Mr. A. Edward Davies

asked the Secretary of State for War what difficulties are holding up the provision of facilities for relatives to visit overseas graves of Service men; and when he expects to be in a position to conclude his arrangements.

Mr. Bellenger

Although the committee appointed to consider this matter has reported, the question is one which raises problems affecting a number of Departments besides my own, and I regret that I cannot yet say exactly when it will be possible to announce a decision.

Mr. Davies

Will my right hon. Friend say whether there is any hope of arrangements being completed so that the relatives can get abroad before the summer has expired, as they are full of disappointment that holiday trips, and so on, are possible, and yet they cannot get' abroad ?

Mr. Bellenger

They can, of course, go under their own power. All I was trying to do was to arrange that their visits should be facilitated in those cases where they need War Office help.

Brigadier Rayner

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the fact that arrangements after the first world war for these visits were much more speedily and effec- tively arranged, and will he "ginger up" those responsible for making them?

Mr. Bellenger

Yes, I am always willing to "ginger up" as much as possible, but the second world war was a little different from the first world war.

Mr. Niall Macpherson

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider, when arranging for the relatives of those Service men who die abroad to visit the graves of their relatives, to do so as soon as possible after the funeral or. if possible, in time for the funeral?

Mr. Bellenger

Yes, Sir.