asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he is aware that one of the welfare committee's requests approved by the Admiralty allowed leave from a ship's home port, but that notwithstanding ships of the home service belonging to the Portsmouth division and with 65 per cent. of the ratings with homes in that district, grant leave from Portland; and if he will inquire into the matter so that this Admiralty privilege, which is greatly valued, may be carried out wherever possible?
Leave to men serving in ships in home wavers is given whenever possible at the home ports to which the men belong. There are at Portland certain vessels which are permanently based on that port. As far as possible leave is given while these vessels are being refitted at their own home ports, but my hon. and gallant Friend will realise that it is not possible for all the leave to be given on these occasions and the balance has necessarily to be given from Portland.