HC Deb 05 February 1947 vol 432 cc344-5W
26. Mr. Mikardo

asked the Secretary of State for Air, why, although there are three times as many applications for family quarters from airmen in Middle East Command as from officers, the number of officers' families now in the command is about the same as the number of airmen's families; why the programme for married quarters in the Canal zone is for only about one-and-a-half times as many airmen's families as for officers' families; and why this programme envisages a 400 per cent. increase in married quarters for officers and only a 144 per cent. increase in married quarters for airmen, as it is easier for those who can afford to pay towards the cost of quarters to have their families with them.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

The number of applications made by airmen for permission to bring their families to the Mediterranean and the Middle East has been approximately double the number made by officers. As I explained in a recent answer to my hon. Friend, a larger proportion of officers have been able to have their families with them, because they have made greater use of private accommodation. This has been particularly true in Egypt. The forces are now all moving to the Canal Zone, where there is very little private accommodation, and where we must, of course, provide lodgings for the families already in the country. Nearly all the public married quarters in the Canal Zone, however, will be available for use either by officers or airmen: and the allocation will be progressively adjusted in order that justice may be done.