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British Prisoners Of War, Far East

Volume 389: debated on Tuesday 4 May 1943

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asked the Secretary of State for War whether he has any official information that British prisoners of war from Malaya are being used by the Japanese authorities for the building of a road linking Burma with Indo-Chinese ports: and whether he will make a statement?

No official information of any kind is available about the work being done by prisoners of war captured in Malaya (with the exception of the small number of prisoners of war who have been notified as having been transferred to Korea). This lack of information is due to the continued refusal of the Japanese authorities to permit visits to camps in other areas than Japan, Korea, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Civilians repatriated from Thailand last autumn stated that they had reason to believe that prisoners of war were being employed in Thailand in the construction of roads and railways under Japanese supervision. If my hon. Friend has any other information I should be glad if he would forward it to me.