HC Deb 06 November 1958 vol 594 cc98-9W
Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Minister of Defence if he will state the present rules and general conditions which govern the granting of ordinary leave and compassionate leave, respectively, of Service men serving overseas, particularly those in Cyprus and the Middle East.

Mr. Sandys

The answer is as followsLEAVE A summary of the normal entitlements is as follows: 1. Royal Navy (i) Foreign Service Commission. A Foreign Service Commission is normally for 18 months, or 2½ years for married personnel accompanied by their families. Local Leave up to 14 days a year. Foreign Service Leave (on return to the United Kingdom) at the rate of 2 days for each month spent overseas, or 3 days for each month spent in the Persian Gulf or Red Sea area. (ii) General Service Commission. A General Service Commission is normally for up to 2 years of which not more than 1 year will be continuous absence from the United Kingdom. General Service Commission Leave at the rate of 3 days for each completed month of the commission—to be taken in the United Kingdom. Local Leave at the discretion of the Commanding Officer during periods of refit overseas. The above also applies to National Service men. 2. Army and R.A.F. (i) Officers, Senior Army N.C.O.s and Aircrew. 42 days per annum taken locally. (ii) Other Regulars Other Ranks. 30 days per annum taken locally. (iii) National Service Other Ranks (except Aircrew). A total leave entitlement of 49 days. In the Army, men take 21 days before leaving the United Kingdom and the remaining 28 while overseas: in the R.A.F., at least 14 days before leaving the United Kingdom and the remainder whilst abroad.

LEAVE TRAVEL (ALL SERVICES) Service personnel overseas are normally allowed three free travel warrants a year for travel up to 50 miles from their place of duty. Only two warrants are allowed for National Service men in the Army and the R.A.F. Because of climatic conditions and/or the lack of adequate leave facilities within a 50-mile radius, special provision has been made for personnel serving for substantial periods in, for instance, the Middle East and Cyprus:

  1. 1. Persian Gulf and Aden. One free passage a year for personnel and their families to the leave centre at Mombasa.
  2. 2. Cyprus. One free passage a year for personnel and their families to the Levantine coast.
  3. 3. Married Unaccompanied Regular Personnel serving in Cyprus, Aden, Habbaniya and the Persian Gulf may, subject to certain conditions, be granted a free leave journey to the United Kingdom if they are on a tour of at least 2 years. A second passage may—subject to certain conditions—be allowed if their tour of duty exceeds 2½ years.

COMPASSIONATE LEAVE Compassionate leave from overseas may be granted in cases of serious domestic hardship or family illness. Such leave does not count against ordinary leave. Travel is allowed at public expense.