Ludgershall Depot (Barrack Accommodation)

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 4th December 1956.

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Photo of Mr George Sylvester Mr George Sylvester , Pontefract 12:00 am, 4th December 1956

asked the Secretary of State for War if he is satisfied with the living conditions of members of Her Majesty's forces who are stationed at Ludgershall Camp; and what he is doing to improve conditions.

Photo of Mr John Hare Mr John Hare , Sudbury and Woodbridge

I assume that the hon. Member is referring to the Army Medical Equipment Depot at Ludgershall. A new barrack room block and sergeants' mess have been completed this year and improvements to an existing block will be finished by the end of this month. The Depot will then consist completely of satisfactory modern barrack accommodation.

Photo of Mr George Sylvester Mr George Sylvester , Pontefract

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there are some lads who went through the Korean and Malayan campaigns who were called up in August as reservists and who have since August been living and sleeping in an old Nissen hut which was originally used as a store, which has a concrete floor, and walls which are constantly damp as the result of condensation?

Photo of Mr John Hare Mr John Hare , Sudbury and Woodbridge

I should be very grateful if the hon. Gentleman will be good enough to amplify those particulars. I assure him that if he will do so, I shall look into the matter.

Photo of Mr Evelyn Strachey Mr Evelyn Strachey , Dundee West

I am not unaware of the Secretary of State's difficulties in this matter of camps, but would he not agree that living conditions are now probably more important for Army recruitment than pay itself, and would he look very carefully indeed into this case which appears prima facie to be a bad one?

Photo of Mr John Hare Mr John Hare , Sudbury and Woodbridge

I will certainly look into it, as I offered. I agree with what the right hon. Gentleman says.

Photo of Mr George Sylvester Mr George Sylvester , Pontefract

May I inform the right hon. Gentleman that I have a letter in my possession from the mother of one of the lads making these statements?

Photo of Mr John Hare Mr John Hare , Sudbury and Woodbridge

I hope that the hon. Gentleman will send it on to me.