HC Deb 15 August 1919 vol 119 cc1799-800W

asked the Secretary of State for War whether a total sum not exceeding 14s. a day is paid by the wife of a general when travelling to or from her husband's post on board of one of His Majesty's ships at the present time; if so, whether the Regulations which govern the visit of officers' wives to their husbands in the Armies overseas lay down that no officer or his wife shall be charged in respect of the latter's voyage a greater sum than 14s. per diem; and, if not, will he take steps to have such a. provision inserted in order that these Regulations may apply equally to all ranks, and that there may be no difference in cost to those whose rank or influence may be insufficient to secure a passage on. board one of His Majesty's ships?


I have been asked to reply. The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative, but it is laid down that neither the wife of any officer nor of any man is to be allowed to take passage in one of His Majesty's ships, except with the express permission of the Admiralty, or, when time and circumstances do not admit of a reference thereto, by the permission of the Commander-in-Chief on the spot. The same rule applies equally to all ranks, except that the charges for the wives of officers of lower rank than that of general are on lower scales, and vary according to the rank of the officer. I may add that the passage expenses incurred by officers' wives in visiting their husbands overseas is not a public charge, and the Admiralty has no power to control the charges made by shipping companies.