HC Deb 07 March 1962 vol 655 cc387-8
24. Miss Vickers

asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty if he will have a survey made of the accommodation provided by his Department for the Women's Royal Naval Service, both at home and abroad, to ascertain whether it is adequate for the needs of this service.

Mr. C. Ian Orr-Ewing

The accommodation needs of all naval personnel are considered annually when the works programme for the next five years is reviewed. The needs of the W.R.N.S. are naturally included. New accommodation is being provided for the W.R.N.S. at a number of naval establishments in this country and I do not think a separate survey is desirable.

Miss Vickers

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. There have not been any requests from the W.R.N.S. about accommodation, but I have seen some of it myself, particularly abroad and in Gibraltar. These women play a very important part in the naval service, and I hope my hon. Friend will ensure that they have adequate accommodation.

Mr. Orr-Ewing

I have looked at their accommodation in Gilbraltar, and I agree that it is far from ideal. I will make certain that they are considered fairly with all other branches of the Royal Navy.

Mr. Lipton

Is it not a fact that, in case of need, the men in the Royal Navy will always be ready and willing to share accommodation with the Women's Royal Naval Service?

Mr. Gresham Cooke

Unlike my hon. Friend the Member for Plymouth, Devonport (Miss Vickers), I have received complaints from a member of the Women's Royal Naval Service about the accommodation at Portsmouth, which is apparently inferior to other accommodation. Will my hon. Friend consider this, because the accommodation is not up to standard?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

We are considering plans for new accommodation for the Women's Royal Naval Service in the Portsmouth area in the next five years. Although the Women's Royal Naval Service makes up only 3 per cent. of Vote A, it looks as if 9 per cent. of our works programme will be devoted to accommodation for its members.