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India (Field Service Concessions)

Volume 413: debated on Friday 24 August 1945

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asked the Secretary of State for War whether India is considered to be a Concessional Area entitling serving men to a free issue of 70 cigarettes a month; and whether he is aware that the Leicestershire Regiment has not had such a free issue.

I have been: asked to reply. The India Command is not, and never has been, a concessional area in the sense of an area in which all field service concessions are admissible. Certain areas were, however, classed as "semi-concessional areas"; in these areas concessions were admissible though not on the full field-service scale. Recently it was decided for reasons of administrative simplicity and because the direct Japanese threat to India had been removed, to abolish these semi-concessional areas with effect from 15th August, 1945, and to grant uniform concessional treatment to all troops in India Command. This involved the withdrawal of certain concessions formerly admissible in the semi-concessional areas, and the extension of others to the India Command as a whole. Among the latter is the free issue of 50 cigarettes, per head per week to British troops—not 70 cigarettes per month as my hon. Friend states. I have no doubt that the Leicester Regiment will by now have received the benefit of this free issue.