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Indian Troops (Welfare)

Volume 388: debated on Thursday 22 April 1943

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18.

asked the Secretary of State for India the composition of the welfare service attached to our Indian troops; and whether this service is efficient for its purpose?

There is at Indian General Headquarters a Directorate of Amenities and Welfare which is responsible for welfare in the widest sense, including education, comforts, clubs, institutes, holiday camps, canteens, concert parties, radio entertainment, etc. A per capita grant is available for such expenditure on Indian troops overseas, and the Government of India hold reserves for expenditure on their behalf on sports gear, musical instruments, and other amenities which may be demanded by overseas commands. A great deal of most valuable work is also being done for Indian troops by voluntary agencies such as the Red Cross, the Y.M.C.A., and the Indian Comforts Fund, which receive financial assistance from Army Funds or from the Viceroy's War Purposes Fund, from which more than £800,000 raised by voluntary contribution in India has been allotted to such agencies.

May I assume from my right hon. Friend's reply that he is entirely satisfied that all proper and possible amenities are being supplied for these gallant troops?