HC Deb 19 February 1957 vol 565 cc184-5
9. Mr. Wigg

asked the Secretary of State for War what was the cost of removing cubicles from the other ranks sleeping accommodation at Harper Barracks, Ripon; and whether the expenditure was authorised with his knowledge and consent.

Mr. J. Amery

This partitioning was removed by members of the unit at no cost, and I am told that it has been successful in improving lighting and heating. Authority for the work was given by the local headquarters who are empowered to do this without consulting my right hon. Friend.

Mr. Wigg

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this separate-cubicle sleeping accommodation was instituted in these barracks in order to provide amenities for the troops, and that at the first opportunity, before it is given a trial, it is removed, without consultation with the War Office? Is not this a gross waste of public money? Will the hon. Gentleman inquire into the state of morale in this unit? I can assure him that, according to my sources of information, many young men who would have undertaken a Regular engagement because they wanted to be Regular soldiers, were put off by the treatment which they received.

Mr. Amery

I am told that the change has resulted in improvements in lighting and heating. I will make inquiries into the state of morale. I find it hard to believe that people could have been put off recruiting on account of these matters.