HC Deb 03 August 1966 vol 733 c444
12. Sir Knox Cunningham

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the cost to public funds of a travel warrant for a Service man on leave between London and Belfast and the cost of the same journey by air, tourist class; and if he will make arrangements to credit the lesser amount to the Service man who chooses not to use his free travel warrant but to fly on leave at his own expense.

Mr. J. P. W. Mallalieu

The cost of a travel warrant at present varies between £4 0s. 2d. and £5 12s. 9d. return; the air tourist fare ranges from £6 14s. to £17 8s. return, excluding the cost of travel to and from the airport. The answer to the second part of the Question is No, Sir.

Sir Knox Cunningham

Bearing in mind that the granting of this credit would be no additional cost to public funds and the resentment which is felt by individual Service men about the present rules, will the hon. Gentleman reconsider this matter and try to do some justice to people who want to get on leave in a much shorter time than the 13 hours which it now takes to cross by sea?

Mr. Mallalieu

As the hon. and learned Gentleman very well knows, successive Ministers have had an extremely good look at this matter. We have very good travel arrangements at present which benefit all the Services and I do not want to upset them by proposing changes.

Sir Knox Cunningham

Owing to the unsatisfactory nature of that reply, I beg to ask leave to give notice that I shall raise the matter on the Adjournment.