§ The Minister of Defence for the Royal Navy (Mr. J. P. W. Mallalieu)
As the Answer contains a table of figures, I will with permission circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
§ Mr. Grant
Is the hon. Gentleman aware of the tragic circumstances of one of my constituents who had to spend his life savings to have the body of his son brought back from the West Indies? 673 Does not the hon. Gentleman recall that, on 10th February, the Under-Secretary of State for Defence for the Army said that a review was taking place of this matter and that a statement would be made shortly? When is that review likely to be completed and the statement forthcoming? Will the hon. Gentleman consider this matter generously?
§ Mr. Mallalieu
The report will be out shortly and I will, of course, look at it with the greatest sympathy.
§ Following is the information:
§ In North-West Europe, from where we already have a scheme for repatriating the bodies of dead Service men if the relatives so wish, the numbers are:
§ The total cost to public funds of bringing all these bodies home, at current rates, would be between £11,000 and £16,000 a year of which rather more than half is the cost of transport.
§ Outside North-West Europe, the numbers are:
§ Assuming repatriation were feasible, the approximate cost for air transport alone, at current air freight rates, would be between £23,000 and £33,000 a year, and there would be other substantial costs, ranging up to £250 or more in each case.