HL Deb 04 April 1957 vol 202 cc1124-6WA

asked Her Majesty's Government what facilities, either free or at concession fares, are granted to married personnel of the three Fighting Services stationed overseas, to enable wives to join their husbands or to enable one or both parents and their children to be re-united during the children's holidays.


Regular officers in the three Services who have reached the age of 25 and who are in receipt of marriage allowance, and regular ratings or other ranks who have reached the age of 21 and who are in receipt of marriage allowance, are eligible, subject to certain conditions being satisfied, to be joined by their wives and children at public expense when serving overseas. As a condition of entitlement there must, generally speaking, be a prospect of not less than nine months' family union but in certain circumstances this can be reduced to six months.

When a wife has joined her husband overseas, children between the ages of 8 and 18 who have been left in the United Kingdom may travel at public expense to visit their parents once during the overseas tour. Visits should be for a reasonably long period. In the case of the Army and R.A.F. this is interpreted as being normally for not less than 28 days which, except at Easter and Christmas, is to be reckoned exclusive of travelling time. This concession is subject to certain conditions being fulfilled regarding length of time that the father has been overseas, and the period of service still remaining to be completed.

In recognition of the special conditions of service in Cyprus, Kenya, and Mafraq, married men in the Army and R. A. F. serving for a tour of at least two years, who fulfil certain other conditions, and who are not accompanied by their families, may be allowed conveyance to the United Kingdom once and possibly twice during an overseas tour on leave at public expense. In general Naval personnel who are unaccompanied by their families serve overseas for only eighteen months.

House adjourned at twenty-seven minutes, before five o'clock.