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German Prisoners Of War

Volume 436: debated on Tuesday 15 April 1947

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9.24 p.m.

As we have a representative of the War Office here tonight—I shall only detain the House a moment, and I do not want to frighten my hon. Friend, and, of course, I do not want an answer to this tonight—I give notice that my hon. Friend the Member for Bedford (Mr. Skeffington-Lodge) and I, and some other hon. Members, intend to raise on the Adjournment at the earliest possible opportunity the question of those German prisoners of war who wish to remain in this country as free, paid workers. I mention this now because I raised it this afternoon at Question time, and the Secretary of State for War gave me an answer which I am afraid was not altogether in accordance with the facts. He said that the number of prisoners of war who would wish to take advantage of any such scheme as that adumbrated recently by the Minister of Agriculture, is not yet known: no definite steps have been taken about it. My information is different. My information is that a number of prisoners have already been canvassed, and that already something approaching 1,000 have definitely indicated their wish to stay in this country as free, paid workers if and when such a scheme becomes possible.

I merely wish to put that on record at the earliest possible moment, in order to draw the attention of the House to what is a very important subject, and to say that the hon. Member for Bedford and I intend to raise it, probably next Tuesday, on the Adjournment.

Question put, and agreed to.

Adjourned accordingly at Twenty-five Minutes past Nine o'Clock.