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Prisoners Of War

Volume 388: debated on Thursday 1 April 1943

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asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he will issue a statement explaining the conditions laid down for the employment of prisoners of war in agriculture and the arrangements for their control and supervision?

The conditions of employment vary according as the prisoners are living in on farms or employed from a hostel or from a central camp, and I am sending my hon. and gallant Friend copies of leaflets explaining these conditions which are issued to farmers who employ prisoners. As regards the second part of the Question, working parties of 12 or more prisoners are provided with an armed escort, who is responsible for their safe custody and also for checking any idleness and securing a proper output of work. Farmers employing unescorted prisoners are responsible for their safe custody. It is in all cases the responsibility of the employer to see that the work of the prisoners is properly organised and supervised.

In the case of prisoners being let out to farmers, who sees that the Regulations are carried out?

The farmer is responsible for the custody and supervision of the men employed on his farm, and the farm is visited regularly by an officer from the camp.