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Empire Forces, Great Britain

Volume 411: debated on Tuesday 29 May 1945

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52.

asked the Prime Minister if opportunity can be given to the peoples of London and other centres to meet and greet contingents of the Dominion, Indian and Colonial forces of the Crown, in order to show our appreciation of their fellowship in the war effort.

54.

asked the Prime Minister if in view of the services rendered by volunteers from all parts of the Empire during this war, and the numbers of Empire troops still in this country, he will arrange for a march through the Metropolis of Empire units before their return home, so that the citizens of London may show their appreciation.

Nearly all the Dominion, Indian and Colonial troops now in this country, other than Canadian troops, are returned prisoners of war, who naturally wish to get home as soon as possible. It would be very difficult to arrange a suitable and representative parade. But the suggestion will be borne in mind. Meanwhile the best way in which we can show our appreciation of the contribution to victory made by these troops is to extend every hospitality and courtesy to individual members of these Forces throughout the short period of their stay in this country.

Will the Prime Minister bear in mind that that does not give the people of the country the opportunity of greeting them in the streets in a march past?

I think that it might inflict hardship on these men if, in the short period, they had to go through the drills and organisation necessary for ceremonial parades. I think we can trust to the warm contacts which have already been established.