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African Troops (Repatriation)

Volume 414: debated on Wednesday 17 October 1945

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asked the Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether he will consult with the Secretary of State for War with a view to the early repatriation from the Middle East of Basutoland, Bechuanaland and Swaziland troops, in view of their resentment at the absence of any release scheme comparable to the United Kingdom Forces' age-and-service group system and of the approach of the ploughing season in these territories, where their labour is urgently needed.

My noble Friend has already been in consultation with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War with a view to the repatriation of these troops as soon as possible, but as explained in my reply on 10th October to the hon. Member for East Fife (Mr. Henderson Stewart) the difficulty is one of shipping. I understand that so far as practicable the troops are at present being released in the order in which they came from the Territories to which they belong.