Hong Kong

Oral Answers to Questions — Armed Forces – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 26th October 1949.

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Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire 12:00 am, 26th October 1949

asked the Minister of Defence what percentage of the troops stationed in Hong Kong are National Service men.

Photo of Mr Albert Alexander Mr Albert Alexander , Sheffield, Hillsborough

I am communicating with the Service authorities concerned to obtain up-to-date figures and will write to my hon. Friend.

Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the statement made in a Scottish newspaper that 25 per cent. of the troops are National Service men, and can he assure us that these men receive training to fit them for action in Hone Kong?

Photo of Mr Albert Alexander Mr Albert Alexander , Sheffield, Hillsborough

I am quite satisfied with the arrangements made by the military authorities.

Photo of Captain Harry Crookshank Captain Harry Crookshank , Gainsborough

Will the right hon. Gentleman assure the troops there that whether they are National Service men or not we have full confidence in them.

Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire

asked the Minister of Defence what extra payment is being given to troops in Hong Kong to meet the high costs of living there.

Photo of Mr Albert Alexander Mr Albert Alexander , Sheffield, Hillsborough

The pay of members of the Forces stationed in Hong Kong is supplemented by local overseas allowances calculated to meet the cost of living in the Colony.

Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the considerable dissatisfaction among Scottish soldiers stationed in Hong Kong? In their canteens they are being charged 4s. 6d. a pint for beer, they are paid in Hong Kong dollars on a Friday and by Monday they are "broke." Will he give facilities to Scottish soldiers who do not want to stay in Hong Kong to come home?

Photo of Mr Albert Alexander Mr Albert Alexander , Sheffield, Hillsborough

I am quite sure that those men, like all other British soldiers, will do their duty. I have received no complaint from anyone in regard to the first part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question. We make additional local overseas allowances, and I am quite prepared to let the hon. Member see what they are or publish them in HANSARD. If there really are serious complaints, and they are submitted to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War, I have no doubt that he will give them careful attention.

Photo of Mr Anthony Head Mr Anthony Head , Carshalton

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is most gratifying to find an ex-pacifist becoming the soldiers' friend?