HC Deb 22 November 1950 vol 481 c338
50. Mr. E. Martin Smith

asked the Minister of Defence if he will approach the United States authorities with a view to making arrangements for British troops serving on home stations with United States troops to be granted the facilities of the United States forces canteens.

Mr. Shinwell

Arrangements have been made with the United States Service authorities for the reciprocal use of United States and United Kingdom welfare facilities, but complete reciprocity is not possible since many of the goods sold in the American post exchanges are free of duty and Purchase Tax and cannot be bought by British Forces.

Mr. Smith

Is the Minister aware that the American authorities are very willing that our troops should have these services and that there is no trouble from their side at all? They are prepared to do it. Would he look into it again and give our Forces the opportunity of having these very good services?

Mr. Shinwell

I will take note of what the hon. Member has said.

Lieut.-Commander Gurney Braithwaite

In the meantime, are our own voluntary organisations being given the opportunity to increase canteen facilities?

Mr. Shinwell

That does not seem to be included in this Question.

Mr. Godfrey Nicholson

In what currency are purchases made in American canteens and have our troops that currency?

Mr. Shinwell

I cannot say without notice.