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Withdrawn Forces, Palestine (Postings)

Volume 446: debated on Tuesday 27 January 1948

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101.

asked the Secretary of State for War if, in view of the difficult and dangerous conditions of service in Palestine, he will arrange immediate home postings or home leave for the troops now to be withdrawn thence, or at least endeavour to shorten their overseas tour substantially.

It is not possible, owing to shortage of shipping, to grant United Kingdom leave except on compassionate grounds, to soldiers serving in overseas Commands other than in Europe. The majority of troops now in Palestine will, owing to the rapid rundown of the Army, be required in other overseas theatres. It would not be possible to post them home except at the expense of lengthening the overseas tour of other soldiers. Although I am fully alive to the valuable service being rendered by British troops in Palestine I do not consider that this discrimination would be justified.

107.

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will indicate the immediate and eventual destination of the troops being evacuated from Palestine, having regard to the importance of this information to their families, especially those which are in Palestine.

It is not possible to answer this Question in general terms. Units now in Palestine will go to various destinations. The importance to soldiers and their families of early information is fully appreciated. The hon. Member will understand, however, that the ultimate destination of individuals will be governed by the length of their remaining service and how long they have been overseas, as well as by moves of units.