§ 124. Mr. Teeling
asked the Undersecretary of State for Air how many volunteers from South America are at present serving East of Suez in the R.A.F.; how many of them have not been able to go home after the regulation period of service abroad; and what does he propose to do to help them.
§ Mr. Strachey
I regret that the information asked for in the first two parts of the Question is not readily available, but I am glad to be able to announce concessions in respect of volunteers from overseas generally. Volunteers from outside the United Kingdom and Eire, other than foreign nationals but including persons of dual nationality, when they qualify and opt under current rules for leave in their home countries will be released or discharged from the Forces with Class A benefits unless they prefer to remain in the Forces and have at least one year to serve on return to their units. Subject to passages being available, the qualifying period for the release of members of the Royal Air Force under this arrangement is three years. As stated by my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the War Office in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Maldon (Mr. Driberg) on 14th March, foreign nationals who desire to be repatriated to their own countries may now apply for repatriation irrespective of their age and Service groups and, provided they have served for at least 6 months, they will receive Class A benefits.