asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that married men serving in the Eastern Command, for whom no married quarters are available, are no longer allowed to draw living-out allowance and rations; whether this change is universal; and whether he is prepared to reinstate the arrangements prevailing up to November, 1942, when the allowances in question were granted?
The separation of officers and men from their families is a normal feature of the exigencies of war-time service. For operational reasons, officers and men of the Field Army or on the staffs of establishments With operational responsibility are not in general allowed to live with their families. They are usually accommodated in War Department buildings, and have their meals in mess. They cannot at the same time draw allowances for accommodation and rations. But officers continue to draw family lodging allowance for their families, and soldiers families continue to draw family allowance. I have recently considered this question very carefully, but I am satisfied that there is no case for altering these arrangements at this stage.
Will the Minister have regard to married men in static employment disconnected with operational units, with a view to making some concession, so that their conditions may be more comparable with those of men for whom married quarters are available?
I think that the trouble in the case which has been brought to my hon. Friend's notice is the difficulty of drawing the line between operational and static units. That is a point which I have very much in mind.