HC Deb 23 October 1975 vol 898 cc251-3W
Mr. Gow

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the concessions which are of financial benefit or which specially improve the quality of life in Northern Ireland for members of Her Majesty's Forces serving there, to which he referred in his Written Answer to the hon. Member for Eastbourne on 14th October 1975.

Mr. Robert C. Brown

The measures introduced are listed below. Where voluntary and official effort are both involved this is indicated.

Leave and travel a For members of the permanent garrison:

Family Leave Entitlement. Married accompanied Service men may surrender their annual leave warrant entitlement of four journeys in exchange for an entitlement of two return journeys a year for themselves, each member of their family and their car.

Single and Married Unaccompanied personnel. A free journey for themselves and their car on two occasions a year on surrender of a leave warrant for each occasion.

Sleeping Berth. At public expense for all ranks and families on leave and posting.

School Children's Visits to Northern Ireland. Up to three warrants a year may be transferred to the eldest child for travel by air at public expense. If additional children travel by air, the Ministry of Defence will meet the costs in excess of the parental liability for surface route travel.

Concessional Air Fares to Great Britain. Cheap rate air fares once a year for single and married unaccompanied members of the permanent garrison on surrender of a leave or separation warrant.

Assisted Travel Scheme. To allow choice of travel, a Service man may, on surrender of a leave warrant, arrange passage by air and re-claim from the Ministry of Defence the cost of surface route journey.

b For personnel on emergency tours and their families in Great Britain or in British Forces Germany:

Mid-Tour Rest and Recuperation. Four days' leave once during a four months' emergency tour has been authorised with free air travel. The leave is additional to annual leave entitlements and does not involve the surrender of annual leave warrants. Two periods of four days' leave with free travel has been agreed for personnel on eight months' emergency tours and a further two days' leave with no additional free travel entitlement for personnel on six months' emergency tours.

Families in British Forces Germany visiting the United Kingdom Families may have one return free journey to the United Kingdom whilst the husband is serving in Northern Ireland on an emergency tour. Free Travel for families in Great Britain. UK-based married Service men on emergency tours can transfer two separation warrants to their family for visits to parents or next of kin during the husband's absence.


  • Twenty-four free Combined Services Entertainment shows a year.
  • Welfare telephones providing reduced price calls to Great Britain and British Forces Germany.
  • Appointment of a Soldiers', Sailors' and Airmen's Families Association Social Worker.
  • Assistance in unit welfare by members of the Women's Royal Voluntary Service (partly financed from public funds).
  • Provision of welfare transport (partly voluntary)
  • Free Forces Air Letters to and from Great Britain and British Forces Germany.
  • Free newspapers.
  • Provision of TV sets, some of them gifts by outside bodies.

Works A wide range of improvements to living accommodation and to such amenities as swimming baths, sauna baths, launderettes, squash courts and bowling alleys.

Food and Accommodation Free food and accommodation for single men on emergency tours. (Married unaccompanied men are already entitled to free food and accommodation).

Miss Richardson

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what types of weapons are allocated to the British Army in Northern Ireland; and in what numbers.

Mr. Robert C. Brown

The Army in Northern Ireland has the range of weapons necessary to carry out its task there. It would not be in the interests of security to disclose details of weapon holdings.

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