HC Deb 21 December 1944 vol 406 c2000W
Sir L. Lyle

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that the rates at hostels in London are higher than many native soldiers, including those from the West Indies, can afford; and whether he will investigate the circumstances under which many live.

Colonel Stanley

Colonial members of the Forces who visit London are accommodated in the ordinary Service hostels and institutions. In addition there are three special hostels which cater for their needs. The charges at these institutions range from 1s. 8d. to 1s. 10d. a night for dormitory accommodation, including bath, and from 2s. 6d. to 3s. 6d. a night for more superior accommodation such as single rooms and cubicles, including bath and breakfast. In addition to their Service pay and allowances, Colonial members of the Services—other ranks only—who spend their leave in the United Kingdom receive a special leave allowance of 5s. a day whilst on leave. This allowance, which is granted in circumstances where ration allowance is issuable, is for the specific purpose of assisting them to meet their living expenses during leave having regard to the fact that they have no relatives or homes in the United Kingdom.

I have no reason to believe that they find it difficult to meet the modest charges of the institutions to which I have referred, and I am satisfied that their living conditions in London compare favourably with those of other Servicemen. I can assure my hon. Friend that these and other matters concerning the welfare of Colonial members of the Forces have been, and will continue to be, closely watched in consultation with the Service Departments. If the hon. Member will give me particular cases which seem to require investigation, I will gladly look into them.