HC Deb 19 February 1957 vol 565 cc177-8
1. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for War if he will make a comprehensive staement on the living conditions and accommodation in the Bridge of Don Barracks, Aberdeen, for married and unmarried soldiers, respectively; for how many married soldiers accommodation for their wives and children has not been provided; what steps are being taken to provide accommodation for those wives and children: and when it will be available.

The Under-Secretary of State for War (Mr. Julian Amery)

There is accommodation for 40 married soldiers at Bridge of Don. The married quarters are in good condition and, where necessary, modernisation of kitchens, heating and lighting is being carried out this year. There are at present 12 families on the waiting list who will be accommodated as vacancies occur. Meanwhile we are also trying to find private accommodation which is suitable to be rented as a War Department hiring. Families are also encouraged to bring such accommodation to our notice.

About two-thirds of the single soldiers are housed in permanent buildings which are in good condition; the rest are in huts. These huts are being redecorated, and improved heating is planned. Their condition is generally satisfactory.

Mr. Hughes

Is the Minister aware that these barracks have been there for a very long time, and that steps should have been taken long ago to see that married soldiers are not unnecessarily and unwillingly separated from their wives and families, which is bad for their happiness and morale? Will the Minister, therefore, expedite the steps being taken and see that accommodation is provided for married couples?

Mr. Amery

The hon. and learned Gentleman will realise that in this barracks there is a larger proportion of married quarters to the scale of barracks as a whole than in most barracks.