HL Deb 13 August 1947 vol 151 cc1404-6WA

asked His Majesty's Government whether they are aware that great hardship is being caused to many people in the British West Indies (many of whom have not been home for eight or ten years) owing to lack of accommodation on ships sailing to the United Kingdom; whether, in the case of Jamaica, it is a fact there is only one single battalion of British troops in the Colony, that these are mostly young soldiers and therefore there is no problem of demobilization. What is the justification, under such circumstances, for the War Office continuing to reserve 5o per cent, of all accommodation up to fourteen days before sailing dates?


There is, at present, a serious shortage of passenger space to and from the West Indies. The United Kingdom troops in Jamaica consist mainly of young soldiers who become due for demobilization in the normal way. Every effort must be made for them to arrive in the United Kingdom by the final date of their release groups. The estimated requirements for demobilization in the next month or two approximate to 50 per cent. of the available berths from Jamaica. Arrangements are being made for early notification to the War Office of future estimated shipping requirements and this should enable any unwanted accommodation to be released for civilians much earlier than at present. Efforts are being made to provide additional passenger accommodation from the West Indies, in an endeavour to reduce any hardship which the present shortage causes.

House adjourned at seventeen minutes past three o'clock to Tuesday, September 9, at half past two.