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Indo-China (Foreign Legion)

Volume 438: debated on Wednesday 4 June 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that prisoners of war originally held by the U.S.A. have, instead of being repatriated, been pressed into a foreign legion and forced to take part in hostilities in Indo-China and have in consequence suffered casualties at Nocay and elsewhere; and if he will make representations to the Allied Governments concerned with the object of stopping such breaches of the Geneva Convention.

No, Sir. According to my information, the French Foreign Legion comprises no German prisoners of war captured by the United States forces, and recruitment has been on an entirely voluntary basis.

Would my right hon. Friend urge on the French Government the desirability of acquainting the relatives of any German prisoners who may have been enrolled in the Foreign Legion of their whereabouts, because at the present time when they first hear of them they are nearly always casualties?

If my hon. Friend will give me something on which to base such a representation, I shall be glad to consider it.

Is the Foreign Secretary aware that I have received several letters from relatives of Germans who have been fighting for France in Indo-China, and that the only communication that they have received is one from the French Government to say that the man has been killed fighting for France? Surely, that was never intended?