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Ukrainians

Volume 438: debated on Wednesday 18 June 1947

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2.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how many Ukrainian personnel of the former S.S. Division, Galizien, are being brought to this country; whether they have been screened to ensure that there are no war criminals among them; whether any demands for the extradition of these men have been made by Allied Governments; and what the status of these men will be in Britain.

Some 8,000 Ukrainians have been brought to this country from Italy. They were members of the 1st Ukrainian Division of the Wehrmacht. A cross-section of this Division was screened by a Soviet mission in August, 1945, and a further cross-section was screened by the Refugee Screening Commission in February of this year. No war criminals were discovered as a result of these processes. The Soviet Government have requested that the members of this Division be sent to the U.S.S.R., but since the overwhelming majority of the men concerned come from territory incorporated into the Soviet Union after 1st September, 1939, His Majesty's Government have not seen their way to comply with this request. Their status while in this country is the same as that of other prisoners of war.

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether these men will be employed in this country?

Is my right hon. Friend aware that members of this Division were exceptionally brutal, that they murdered hundreds of people in cold blood? Will he take all the steps necessary to see that none of those who come to this country took part in any of these sadistic and vicious incidents?

Is it not a fact that the Ukrainians loath the Muscovites and hate the Germans, and that what they really want is to be independent of both?

I can assure my hon. Friend that we have taken the most extensive precautions to see that anyone guilty of crime is so treated, and I have no doubt that there will be further screening processes associated with these men.