asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that prisoners of war repatriated from Germany have been put on drafts for service abroad, and of the resentment towards this policy, in view of the sufferings of these men; and if he will now consider demobilising all repratriated prisoners of war, or keeping them for service in this country.
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that men who have had only a few months in England andwho have been prisoners of war for over four years and whose group numbers are between 20 and 30 are being sent out to the Middle East, and why arrangements have not been made whereby men who have undergone such experiences can be retained in this country until their demobilisation date is reached.
:In fairness to other soldiers, many of whom have endured long periods of arduous campaigning in different parts of the world, involving severe privations, I regret I cannot release these men regardless of their age and service group, or give them the preference suggested as regards posting. They are not retained in the Army unless they have been found medically fit for further service and in all cases they spend a minimum of six months in this country after liberation. As a general rule, soldiers in groups 20–30 are no longer sent to the Middle or Far East.
Is it not contrary to international law to send out these repatriated prisoners to theatres which might, in view of the unsettled state of the world, develop into battle grounds?
I will take note of the point raised by the hon. Gentleman.
In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I will raise the matter on the Adjournment.