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British Regiments (Austrian Platoons)

Volume 400: debated on Tuesday 13 June 1944

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asked the Secretary of State for War whether, following the precedent created in the case of the Danes, he will consider the advisability of grouping Austrians in the British Army into Austrian platoons attached to British regiments.

The position of the two groups is somewhat different. The Danes were enlisted in a body for combatant duty in the Buffs. The Austrians were originally enlisted into the Pioneer Corps. When the restrictions on aliens serving in other corps were relaxed the Austrians who volunteered were transferred to other branches of the Army where their trade and other qualifications could be most fully used. To withdraw them now and regroup them in Austrian platoons of British regiments would involve wasting skill and experience, and in my view would not be in the best interests of the Service.