HC Deb 18 October 1944 vol 403 cc2391-2W
Sir G. Owen

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware that in convenience, expense and distress are caused to families and relatives of deceased airmen owing to the uncertainty of the times of arrival of the bodies at the arranged railway station; and if he will in future detail an escort to accompany the coffin to its destination.

Sir A. Sinclair

I sympathise with my hon. and gallant Friend's anxiety in this matter, but I regret that the shortage of man-power precludes the provision of escorts. Difficulties due mainly to heavy railway demands do undoubtedly occur in isolated cases. These are always investigated, but I have no evidence of any general complaint. Careful arrangements are made in co-operation with the railway companies to ensure transport as rapidly as present circumstances permit and to keep relatives informed as closely as possible of the expected time of arrival. If my hon. and gallant Friend has a par- ticular case in mind, I will gladly look into it.