HC Deb 03 April 1957 vol 568 c369
1. Mr. Russell

asked the Secretary of State for Air if, in order to avoid delay, he will simplify the procedure by which approval is given to arrangements made by married officers and other ranks for renting furnished flats and houses.

The Secretary of State for Air (Mr. George Ward)

The present procedure for hiring furnished flats and houses normally works very well. I am, however, looking into the particular case to which my hon. Friend has drawn my attention to see whether any improvement is possible.

Mr. Russell

Would it not be easier if, instead of a central body like my right hon. Friend's works department having to approve these arrangements, the unit concerned were empowered to do so? Would it not save a good deal of delay? Alternatively, would it not be possible for a lodging allowance of some kind to be given to married officers and airmen so that they could make their own arrangements without approval having to be obtained at all?

Mr. Ward

This is already done. An airman's marriage allowance is fixed to cover the cost of accommodation, and if there is no official married quarter for him to rent he is free to make what arrangements he likes. It is only when a house or flat is hired by the Air Ministry as an official quarter that approval becomes necessary.