§ Mr. Randall
asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware that the liner "Duchess of Bedford," used as a troopship, arrived from India with less than 300 passengers, mostly civilians, whilst 121W 1,000 Service men, due for demobilisation, were left behind in Bombay; and why the departure of the liner was not delayed.
§ Mr. Barnes
The authorities in India report that when this troopship sailed from Bombay, she cleared all Service passengers then awaiting passage to the Middle East and U.K., leaving only II British soldiers for U.K. in the Bombay transit camp. These II men were not ready to embark. Owing to fluctuations of traffic, troopships cannot always be completely full in both directions, more especially in the troop decks in which civilian passengers cannot be accommodated, but I have impressed on all authorities concerned the importance of making full use of all shipping opportunities for the movement of passengers.