HC Deb 14 December 1949 vol 470 cc2660-1
50. Sir Ronald

Ross asked the Minister of Defence how much of the proposed programme for housing Service families will be situated at or near the recently formed naval and air establishments in Northern Ireland.

Mr. Alexander

The full programme for Northern Ireland has not yet been decided. However, on present plans provision will be made in 1950–51 for work to start on 36 married quarters for the Admiralty and on 46 for the Air Ministry. The Armed Forces (Housing Loans) Bill does not apply to Northern Ireland and this programme will accordingly be financed from the Works Votes of the two Departments.

Sir R. Ross

Is the Minister aware that, as the housing of the Forces is carried out under a service reserved to this House, to which Northern Ireland pays a very substantial contribution of many millions of pounds, they should be under no disadvantage there compared with the rest of the Service stations?

Mr. Alexander

I do not for a moment think that there will be any question of disadvantage; but certainly, having regard to the general arrangements made by this House for the subsidising of the building of houses for the general population, it is not considered that we can apply this principle of loan outside Great Britain. It cannot be applied in Northern Ireland.

Lieut-Colonel Sir Walter Smiles

Is the Minister aware that there is a good deal of dissatisfaction among the families of English and Scottish airmen who are stationed in Northern Ireland, because the husbands are fortunate enough to be there and their families are away from them; and is he also aware that absence makes the heart grow fonder—very often of somebody else?

Mr. Alexander

I have already indicated that we are proceeding with over 80 new married quarters in this area in the next year.

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