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Mef (Passages For Wives)

Volume 416: debated on Thursday 12 April 1945

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asked the Secretary of State for War what arrangements have been made to enable the wives of men serving in the M.E.F. to join their husbands.

I would refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 9th October in reply to a Question by the hon. Member for Oxford (Mr. Hogg). Full details have been issued to all concerned.


asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that other ranks serving with the Regular Army in the Middle East are reluctant to allow their wives to join them under the new scheme, as they consider the proposed accommodation inadequate and do not think it right that their wives should be housed in tents; and whether he will take steps either to provide better accommodation or, alternatively, to increase leave to the United Kingdom.

I should like to make it clear that the initiative in these cases rests with the soldier, but that his application for a passage for his family cannot be considered unless the command is satisfied that proper accommodation is available. This must necessarily be accommodation which already exists. If the accommodation is not satisfactory the families cannot be allowed to proceed. Leave from overseas is already maintained at the highest practical level and is constantly under review.

Would it be possible to make that information more widely known, as many of them do not know?

I will consider that point, because I do desire that all possible details should be known about this matter.

Can the right hon. Gentleman say how many applications have, in fact been granted under this scheme up to date?