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West African Units

Volume 416: debated on Thursday 12 April 1945

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asked the Secretary of State for War what is the period now contemplated for deferring British Army personnel in charge of West African native troops in India, beyond their normal dates of release and repatriation.

For the reasons given by me on 13th November, in reply to a Question by the hon and gallant Mem- ber for Horncastle (Commander Maitland), it is not possible at present to say how long this deferment must continue, but every effort is being made to limit it to the shortest possible time.

asked the Secretary of State for War if he is now able to state the number of officers and men involved in the deferment of release of certain European personnel of the 81st West African, Division; and the length of time he intends to defer their release.

I have asked for a further report on these points from India and will write to the hon. and gallant Member. As I have previously explained, the period of deferment will be kept to the minimum but it is a question of obtaining suitable replacements and the period may vary. I may say that the repatriation of the West African troops is now taking place.