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Prisoners Of War (Civilian Drivers)

Volume 437: debated on Monday 5 May 1947

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50.

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that the drivers of A.E.C. lorries carrying German prisoners of war to and from their work remain with the stationary lorries all day; that other than the actual driving to and from the camp they do no work at all; and whether, in view of the shortage of labour in the countryside, he will issue instructions to the A.E.Cs. to ensure that these drivers take some active part in food production.

46.

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that civilian drivers conveying prisoners of war to and from work often perform no useful work whatever between the morning and evening journeys; and whether he will take immediate steps to review their conditions of work so as to avoid this waste of manpower.

With the co-operation of the appropriate trade union, arrangements are already in operation in most cases for drivers conveying prisoners of war to be suitably employed during intervals between morning and evening journeys. The relatively few outstanding cases of difficulty are under examination.

Is the Minister aware that this undertaking has not been carried out in Kent, and that many of these men are standing idle all day?

I understand that there have been difficulties in Kent, but arrangements have now been made with the trade union organisation there, and these men are doing agricultural work in the inter-driving periods.