HC Deb 12 February 1957 vol 564 cc1057-8
18. Mr. J. Hynd

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will consider enabling members of Her Majesty's forces serving in Cyprus to be given home leave with free transport at some stage before the completion of eighteen months' service abroad.

Mr. Hare

Married Regular soldiers, whose families have had to remain at home because of the emergency in Cyprus, are already allowed free leave travel to this country provided that they are serving on an overseas tour of at least two years and have been overseas apart from their families for at least nine months. Any more general scheme covering married men, who have their families with them, and single men, would in fairness have to apply to all overseas theatres, and this is ruled out by practical difficulties and cost.

Mr. Hynd

As the Minister must be aware of the fact that these men do obtain leave in Cyprus, as there are no facilities for enjoying that leave in Cyprus, and as it is quite impossible for most of the men to be able to afford the air fare home, would he not consider some concession being made to enable these men to enjoy their leave at home, at least once in the two years?

Mr. Hare

The hon. Gentleman is not quite fair in saying that there are no leave facilities. I am not satisfied that, at the end of last year, owing to the Suez emergency, there were adequate leave facilities, and following my recent visit there I personally went into this problem. I am determined to ensure that accommodation in suitable leave centres will be available for all men who can be allowed leave.