HC Deb 21 January 1953 vol 510 cc189-90
22. Dr. King

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air why he refused to reconsider the request of 4021775 Corporal Harper that he should defray the cost or part of the cost of returning home from Korea to see his bereaved mother.

Mr. Ward

The letter which I sent to the hon. Member on 18th December, 1952, sets out the reasons why this airman's fare home from the Middle East where he was serving at the time of his father's death could not be paid from public funds.

Dr. King

Is the Under-Secretary aware that this boy's father was a disabled man who committed suicide, that at such a time any boy ought to be at home with his mother and that the airman in question, being refused compassionate leave, took the leave which was due to him and came home at his own expense; so that he did come home and the only issue now is whether the Department should not make amends to him by meeting some of the expenditure of £50 to £60 which he spent by coming home in this way?

Mr. Ward

In this case there was another brother living at home, as the hon. Member knows. There was no question of winding up an estate, and there was no need for this man's presence for that purpose. It is definitely in accordance with R.A.F. policy not to grant compassionate leave in a case like this.