§ Mr. Gibson
asked the Secretary of State for War what is the longest period of time which a man is expected to serve in the Far East; what steps he has taken to ensure that no man is kept in India and Burma for four years without a period of leave in this country; and if men who are now on leave in this country are liable to be sent back to the Far East after a long period of service there.
§ Mr. Lawson
As regards the period during which a soldier is expected to serve in the Far East I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to the hon. and gallant Member for North Blackpool (Brigadier Low) in answer to a similar Question on 9th October, 1945. Under existing arrangements a soldier is repatriated home before he completes four years' service in India or Burma; the second part of the Question does not therefore arise. There is, however, a limited leave scheme in operation during which a 969W man may be granted one period of 28 days' leave in the United Kingdom during his overseas tour. Soldiers sent home on leave under that scheme must return to their overseas command to enable other men to go on leave in their turn, but those who are sent home, on completion of overseas tour, are not liable for further service in India or the Far East, unless they volunteer.
§ Mr. Lawson
I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. and gallant Member for North Blackpool (Brigadier Low) on Tuesday last.