HC Deb 03 August 1944 vol 402 c1624W
Colonel Clarke

asked the Secretary of State for War if, in view of the present anxiety of certain soldiers in C.M.F. and Normandy to have information quickly with regard to other relatives, he will make a statement concerning the facilities at present available for soldiers in those areas to send cables; and how long such cables and replies to them may be expected to take in transit.

Sir J. Grigg

Personnel serving with the Central Mediterranean Force have the following facilities for sending telegrams:

  1. (1) Concession Service Telegrams.—These telegrams are handled over Service channels and the number is therefore restricted to two a month in each direction. The telegrams are allowed only between the soldier and his next-of-kin and they may deal only with the most urgent private affairs. They take about two days between this country and the Base Post Office.
  2. (2) European Letter Telegrams.—There is no restriction on the number of telegrams or the number of words sent. They take between three and four days to reach the Base Post Office from this country and slightly less in the homeward direction.
  3. (3) Expeditionary Force Messages.—An unlimited number of such messages can be sent, but the texts are restricted to three standard phrases which may be chosen from 189 phrases. They take between three and four days.

Of the above only the Concession Service is available to troops serving in Normandy. The telegrams normally take 36 hours in transit.

The Soldiers', Sailors' and Airmen's Families Association have branches throughout the Central Mediterranean Command through which inquiries about domestic matters may be sent. Such inquiries are handled by military means of communication. The same service will shortly operate in Normandy.

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