§ Sir W. RUTHERFORD
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that a number of the wives and children of non-commissioned officers of the 2nd Battalion, Highland Light Infantry, are still in this country; whether the battalion was sent out in November, 1920, from Redford barracks, in Scotland; whether, as far back as March last year, the belongings of these wives and children were sent out, including their clothing and excepting only practically what they stand in; whether promises were made by the War Office that these wives and children would be sent out last November, when some of them went, but others were left behind; whether these poor people are under the impression that the trooping season is to close at the end of March; and whether any satisfactory assurance can be given as to when these wives, with their children, will be able to join their husbands?
§ Sir L. WORTHINGTON-EVANS
The families of this unit could not accompany it to Egypt in November, 1920, as no accommodation for them was available in that country. Since accommodation became available 33 families in all have applied for passage. Of these, 30 were provided by the first opportunity and were sent out with very little delay. Of the three remaining, one could not accept passage owing to illness and has not since applied, and two, whose delay was necessitated by shortage of second-class accommodation on board, will embark next month. I am making inquiries as to whether there has been any misunderstanding, as suggested in the question, regarding the clothing and other belongings of any of the families, and I will communicate with my hon. Friend further in due course.