HC Deb 16 November 1949 vol 469 cc2006-7
17. Mr. Symonds

asked the Secretary of State for Air what period of leave is granted to National Service men serving in the Royal Air Force in Germany; and how this compares with the leave granted before 1st January last.

Mr. A. Henderson

The period of leave granted to National Service men serving in Germany varies according to the date of entry into the Service. Those called up before 1st April, 1948, are eligible for the same scale of leave as regular personnel and receive 42 days' leave a year in the United Kingdom and 10 days' local leave. National Service men who entered the R.A.F. in the period 1st April, 1948, to 31st December, 1948, are eligible, while serving in Germany, for one period of 19 days' leave in the United Kingdom, provided that they had not less than eight months to serve when posted abroad; they also receive seven days' local leave. Those called up on or after 1st January, 1949, may be granted 14 days' leave during service in Germany, which they may take in the United Kingdom if they had not less than eight months to serve when they were posted to Germany.

Mr. Symonds

Is my right hon. and learned Friend aware that many of the latter group of men complain that they get only about one-third of the amount of leave granted to similar men in this country, mainly, I gather, because weekend passes do not, as in this country, extend from Friday afternoon to Sunday night but are not available until mid-day on Saturday, which makes week-end leave almost impossible? Will my right hon. and learned Friend look into that matter?

Mr. Henderson

I will certainly look into the suggestion that week-end leave is not possible, but I would remind my hon. Friend that the National Service man who joined since 1st January of this year is entitled to 14 days' home leave before proceeding to Germany, 14 days' leave while serving in Germany under the qualification to which I have referred, and then at the end of his service he is entitled to 18 days' terminal leave, and I do not think that that is too bad.