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Pioneer Corps (Aliens)

Volume 387: debated on Wednesday 17 March 1943

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asked the Secretary of State for War how many aliens of enemy origin serving in the Pioneer Corps have volunteered or have been drafted for service overseas; whether any of these are technically deserters from the armed forces of enemy Powers; whether, if taken prisoner, they are liable to the death penalty; and whether he is yet in a position to say how they can be assured of protection from such a fate?

I regret that it would not be in the public interest to give the figures asked for in the first part of the Question. I have no information on the points referred to in the second and third parts of the Question, but special steps are being taken to give aliens such protection as is possible against the possibility that my hon. Friend has in mind if at any time they are required to serve overseas. It would clearly not be in the interests of the men themselves to say what these steps are but I will gladly let my hon. Friend know what has been decided.