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Service Wives

Volume 393: debated on Tuesday 2 November 1943

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asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will make the Regulations regarding married personnel in the same camp similar to those in the R.A.F., so that married couples need not be separated?

I am afraid that my answer on 19th October may have misled my hon. Friend. The Army rule forbids married couples serving in the same unit; it does not forbid them serving in the same camp if both their units happen to be there. This seems to me a reasonable rule in the circumstances, particularly as the conditions of service in the Army are not in general very similar to those in the R.A.F.

Does my right hon. Friend realise that this Regulation is not conducive to the best human relations between people serving in the same locality? Why should Army Regulations generally be more harsh than those of the R.A.F.?

—or harsher than those of the R.A.F. The suggestion that this rule is conducive to ill-feeling is I think incorrect. I may have misled my hon. Friend. In the case of two different units in the same camp the rule does not operate. If my hon. Friend will consider the matter it is possible that he will see that there are good reasons for the rule.

Will my right hon. Friend see that where two people get married they are posted to the same locality even if not to the same unit? In many cases when a couple marry they are dispersed to opposite ends of the Army.

If a man and a woman in the same unit marry quite obviously one of them must change their unit. I do not think that there is any deliberate policy of posting them as far apart as possible.

What special reasons apply to the Army which do not apply to the R.A.F.?

That is obvious. Some of the mixed Army units have an operational function, which R.A.F. units have not.