§ 26. Mr. Woodnutt
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will offer travel facilities to the parents of the late Lance-Corporal E. Mills, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, killed in the Persian Gulf, to visit their son's grave in Sharjah, in view of the fact that Lance-Corporal Mills's widow is unable to travel.
§ Mr. Boyden
I wrote to the hon. Member on 20th November and explained why I cannot make this offer.
§ Mr. Woodnutt
I am aware of the Minister's letter, but could not the Gov- 1370 ernment exercise a little compassion in cases such as this? Will the Minister accept that a mother's love for her son can be as great as a wife's love for her husband, and that if the wife was too emotionally upset to make this trip it would be reasonable to let the mother go instead?
§ Mr. Boyden
The Government have very much improved the arrangements in this sort of case. The position is not as simple as the hon. Gentleman says. I am sympathetic to the case, but the fact, as he knows, is that Mrs. Mills, Junior, may feel inclined to visit her husband's grave at a later date, and it would be wrong to pre-empt that situation if, in say six or eight months, she feels able to go, and then wishes to go with her mother-in-law or father-in-law.