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Personnel, Prisoner Of War Camps

Volume 389: debated on Tuesday 25 May 1943

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20.

asked the Secretary of State for War the number of soldiers passed A.I and fit far military service who are now employed at prisoner of war camps; if they are eligible for service overseas; and whether he will consider replacing these men soon by men who are older and are not A.I, or who have already seen some active service?

About 850 non-commissioned officers and men employed at prisoner of war camps are under 40 and in medical category A.I. The position is reviewed from time to time, and as many A.I men are released as possible, but my hon. Friend will appreciate that a nucleus of these men is necessary as stiffeners for the large majority who are of low medical category.

Does the right hon. Gentleman seriously consider that a nucleus of these men is necessary to guard what are mostly Italian prisoners? Surely it is fantastic.