HC Deb 18 June 1951 vol 489 c28
39. Dr. King

asked the Minister of Transport if he will inquire into the complaints made by returning Service men and their families about bad conditions on the troopship "Empire Orwell" which recently arrived in Southampton from the Far East.

Mr. Barnes

I have already made inquiries and have ascertained that the complaints about the messing arrangements were made during the early part of the voyage. They were at once dealt with, and a committee of third-class passengers was set up by the military officer in charge of the troops on board to report any further complaints to him. No further complaints were, however, received.

Dr. King

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the food conditions of third-class passengers are grossly inadequate, especially for children? Is it not also a fact, as his previous answer shows, that third-class passengers on these troopships, which mean soldiers below the rank of sergeant, are not allowed to see their wives and children on the voyage unless they can produce a medical certificate?

Mr. Barnes

The food scales are based on the Service scales. The matter of soldiers seeing their wives is a point of Service discipline.