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Trooping Voyages (Landing Facilities)

Volume 465: debated on Tuesday 24 May 1949

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22 and 23.

asked the Secretary of State for War (1) at what Empire posts between Great Britain and Hong Kong formed bodies of troops are permitted to land for the purpose of exercise; in which cases landing charges are made; and from what source these are met;

(2) if, in the interests of health and efficiency, he will amend the regulations which forbid the landing of formed bodies of troops at Aden for exercise during trooping voyages to the Far East.

The only point on Commonwealth territory at which formed bodies of troops are allowed to land for the purpose of exercise on the voyage from the United Kingdom to Hong Kong is Colombo. Landings are, however, also allowed for this purpose at Port Said. At both these places landing charges are made, but these charges are met from public funds. Voyage regulations generally are under review at present.

Would the right hon. Gentleman say why Aden, which presumably is still to be considered under British jurisdiction, does not give these facilities, as that is a very suitable point in a long voyage, whereas actually when such arrangements are made by commanding officers on their own initiative they have, I understand, to pay the cost from regimental funds?

The question of whether Aden should be used for this purpose will come under review in the general examination.