HC Deb 11 March 1947 vol 434 cc1120-1
39. Mr. W. R. Williams

asked the Secretary of State for War why, under existing regulations in the Austrian Command, locally married British soldiers are treated differently to men whose wives and dependants have rejoined them from the United Kingdom, regarding standard of accommodation provided, limitation of cash-value purchases in the married families' shops and in allocation of coal from military sources; and whether he will give instructions that this differentiation shall cease forthwith.

Mr. Bellenger

There is an acute short age of accommodation for married families in Austria, and preference in allotment of the available accommodation is given to families who have joined their husbands from the United Kingdom, because locally married families are better able to obtain their own accommodation. Locally married families receive marriage allowance, which enables them to rent accommodation privately. They have to obtain coal through the civil organisations, but where they have difficulty they are assisted by sales from Army stocks. There is now no limitation on purchases by locally married families in married families shops.

Mr. Williams

Will the right hon. Gentleman say how long the restriction referred to in the last part of the Question has been removed?

Mr. Bellenger

Comparatively recently.

Mr. Vane

Is this any different from the practice after the last war?