El Adem (Conditions)

Oral Answers to Questions — Royal Air Force – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th November 1946.

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Photo of Mrs Lucy Middleton Mrs Lucy Middleton , Plymouth, Sutton 12:00 am, 27th November 1946

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware of the measure of discontent existing among R.A.F. personnel in E1 Adem camp; that the conditions in this camp are steadily worsening, particularly in the matter of food, which is mainly tinned and contains practically no allocation of fresh fruit and vegetables; and what steps he proposes to take to rectify this state of affairs.

Photo of Mr Geoffrey De Freitas Mr Geoffrey De Freitas , Nottingham Central

E1 Adem is on the edge of the Libyan desert and considering where it is the living conditions are good, and it appears to be a particularly happy station. There were seasonal shortages of fresh fruit and vegetables between August and October, but the Command catering inspection for last month shows the following comments on the messes: Officers'—good, sergeants'—good, airmen's—very good.

Photo of Mrs Lucy Middleton Mrs Lucy Middleton , Plymouth, Sutton

Is my hon. Friend aware that, contrary to the information he has given the House, the men allege that conditions in the camp, both as regards accommodation and food, are progressively deteriorating, that they describe their relief at being posted or demobilised from the camp as similar to that which would be felt on being liberated from a concentration camp, and that the belief is growing among the men that someone is deliberately sabotaging the policy of His Majesty's Government to bring better conditions for the Forces?

Photo of Mr Geoffrey De Freitas Mr Geoffrey De Freitas , Nottingham Central

That, is not my information. As I have stated, I have been informed that this station is a particularly happy one, and certainly with regard to food this is borne out by the remarks I have quoted from the inspection report of last month.

Photo of Sir Arthur Harvey Sir Arthur Harvey , Macclesfield

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that civilian passengers who have passed through this camp and have stayed there overnight say that it is a highly satisfactory camp?