§ Major Beamish
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air when he expects to be able to restore home leave facilities for members of the R.A.F. serving in the Middle East; and what form these facilities will take.
§ Mr. J. Lewis
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air why it is that R.A.F. personnel serving overseas are only granted 14 days' leave in this country, whereas Army personnel are granted 28 days.2471W
§ Mr. Strachey
It has not so far been possible to give home leave from the R.A.F., Middle East, for the reasons given in my reply of 28th November to my hon. Friend the Member for Norwich (Mr. Paton). We hope, however, to hear be fore long from the headquarters in Italy whether they can arrange to give home leave to the airmen who are eligible in the Central Mediterranean Forces if they are likely to be moving to the Middle East.
The arrangements for home leave from the Central Mediterranean Forces are different for the Army and the R.A.F. Our scheme was only authorised on the understanding that it would not involve additional manpower and would not delay normal repatriation. On this basis, the air commander-in-chief considered that 28 days' home leave could not be arranged from the C.M.F. area, but that 14 days' could. This is the best that can be done at present, though as I said last week we shall do all we can to make further improvements in all commands—of course, the whole thing will be easier once the tremendous pressure on transport of the release scheme is over.