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Personal Case

Volume 465: debated on Tuesday 24 May 1949

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20.

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that the wife of Staff Sergeant Mills of 32 (EA) MP and DB, P.O. Box 3017, Mombasa, Kenya, has been refused a public passage from Durban, where she now is, to Mombasa, unless she returns to the United Kingdom first, although this will involve extra cost both to Staff Sergeant Mills, and to his Department; and what steps he proposes to take to rectify this situation.

Staff Sergeant Mills' application for a public passage for his family from Durban to Mombasa has been under consideration in the War Office and no reply has yet been sent. He may, however, have been told by the local military authorities in East Africa that he is ineligible for such a passage as, in fact, he is. The grant of family passages is for the purpose of enabling families to be united for as long a period as is reasonably possible. It follows that entitlement to a passage at public expense is only recognised between the stations to which a soldier may be posted. If a family goes by private arrangement to some other place overseas it must find its way at private expense direct to the husband's duty station or to the United Kingdom or alternatively to some point on the normal passage route to the husband's duty station either from the United Kingdom or from his previous station, at which the ship can pick up the family.

Would not the Minister agree that it is quite absurd to bring the wife of Staff Sergeant Mills home to this country in order to send her to Mombasa?

We are not responsible for bringing her home to this country. If she wishes to return to this country that is a matter that suits her own convenience.