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Free Travel Warrants

Volume 440: debated on Wednesday 16 July 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for Air why the number of free travel vouchers has been reduced from four a year to three.

During the war, men and women in the Services were given four free warrants a year when they went on leave. When the pay of the Services was improved, it was felt that the heavy cost of this wartime concession could no longer be justified, and in 1946 the number of free warrants was reduced from four to three. Pending a final decision, instructions have been given that during the present year only two free warrants should be issued.

Does not my right hon. Friend agree that if the Government insist on retaining Forces far larger than we can afford they should at least treat them decently, and not make petty inroads into this wartime concession? Will he take steps to see that the policy is reversed?

I would remind my hon. Friend that conditions now are not the same as they were when this wartime concession was introduced, and that the cost is very heavy. One extra warrant given to the Royal Air Force costs the nationĀ£500,000.

Would my right hon. Friend bear in mind that this cut is most inequitable as between man and man, since the amount spent on going home depends on where the man's home happens to be?

Yes, Sir, but it also depends on the posting. Broadly, I think it evens itself out although, of course, there must be some inequalities.

In view of the answer which the right hon. Gentleman has given, can he say whether reduced fare passes are still being issued?