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Ex-Regular Service Men

Volume 527: debated on Tuesday 18 May 1954

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asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what further approach he has made to local authorities to give special consideration to housing applications submitted by Regular soldiers who will be required to vacate Service accommodation at the end of their military service.

The Housing Management Sub-Committee of the Central Housing Advisory Committee is reviewing among other matters the whole question of residential qualifications required by certain local authorities, including the difficulties of regular Service men.

Is my hon. Friend aware that there are many cases in which the applications of Service men are not considered until they have come to the end of their service? As this is a matter of considerable urgency, would my hon. Friend ask his right hon. Friend at least to make representations to the local authorities on this matter?

The sub-committee is now considering the matter. It reported in 1949, and my right hon. Friend sent round a circular pointing out its recommendations to local authorities, but if any hon. Member has any point of view which he would like me to place before the sub-committee, I should be pleased to do so.

While I appreciate my hon. Friend's sympathetic answer, may I ask whether he realises that this is a serious matter, because frequently soldiers, sailors and airmen who come back after 10 or 20 years' service find themselves arriving back in their home land on no authority's housing list and not entitled to accommodation.

My right hon. Friend appreciates that it is a serious matter. That is why he amended the terms of reference of the sub-committee so that it could include this matter in its deliberations.