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Poles, Uk (Repatriation)

Volume 437: debated on Wednesday 21 May 1947

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33.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, since it is the recommendation of His Majesty's Government that all Poles in the United Kingdom and in the British zones of Austria and Germany should return to Poland, what assurance he has received that the many thousands of Poles who fought in General Anders' Corps in Italy after more than 18 months' forced labour in Siberia and other parts of the U.S.S.R., and thousands of other Poles with known anti-Communist views, will be able to live the lives of free men if they accept the advice of His Majesty's Government and return to their homeland.

I have nothing to add to my reply to the hon. Member for Belfast University (Professor Savory) on 19th May.

Cannot the Minister understand that Poles who have once experienced Communist methods at first hand, and particularly the methods of the N.K.V.D., may not be very anxious to return to their country in the present circumstances?

That is a decision for the Poles themselves to take. We have made our view plain that they are needed at home and should go home.

Is the Minister aware that he has not made his view plain that they are needed at home, but that they ought to go home, and does he still stand by that?