HC Deb 31 May 1954 vol 528 c892
42. Mr. Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for War how many married quarters and how many hotels previously occupied by Her Majesty's Forces in Trieste are now standing empty; and when it is intended to allow wives to join their Army husbands there.

The Under-Secretary of State for War (Mr. J. R. H. Hutchison)

One hundred and forty-five married quarters and no hotels. As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister stated in the House on 17th December last year, it is the policy of Her Majesty's Government to withdraw our troops in conditions which will consolidate the forces of peace in this area. It is not, therefore, our intention in existing conditions to make Trieste once more a family station.

Mr. Hamilton

Is the Minister aware that some wives have been allowed to go back, providing they pay their own fares, but apparently they have not been allowed to take their children with them? If it is the policy of the Government to withdraw our troops, why is it that these wives are allowed back there; and is not it the case that, it being regarded as a home station, so long as the troops are there some of them are faced with the possibility of spending perhaps another five or six years there without ever getting accommodation?

Mr. Hutchison

I certainly hope that it will not be five or six years. On the detailed part of the question which the hon. Gentleman put, he has a Question down about that aspect tomorrow. I ask him to wait for a fuller reply than I can give him now.