HC Deb 30 July 1941 vol 373 cc1425-6W
Sir H. Morris-Jones

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware of the hardship and inconvenience caused to a number of Royal Air Force officers' wives in this country whose husbands are serving in Canada under the Air Training Scheme and who are not now offered facilities to join their husbands in Canada, although many months ago asked by the Air Ministry to hold themselves in readiness to travel; and whether, in view of the fact that ships are entering Canada with many empty berths, he will take steps to see that this concession promised may be fulfilled?

Sir A. Sinclair

The broad intention is to ensure that the limited number of passages available for wives of R.A.F. personnel who wish to join their husbands in Canada shall be allotted on an equitable basis proportionately as between officers and airmen and in order of priority governed by length of service in the Dominion. Up to the present officers' wives have secured more passages than airmen's wives and in order to redress the balance it is necessary for the time being to reserve for airmen's families the berths now becoming available. All families who apply for passages are invited to adjust their arrangements so that they may be ready to proceed at short notice; no promise is given that passages will be available but this precaution is taken in order that families may be able to avail themselves of any opportunity for obtaining passages which may arise at short notice. As regards the last part of the Question I am assured by my Noble Friend the Minister of War Transport that no vessels are sailing from this country to Canada with empty berths suitable for women passengers.