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War Graves

Volume 441: debated on Tuesday 29 July 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for War if he will report progress in the matter of dealing with war graves by his Department and the War Graves Commission.

Progress in dealing with War Graves may be said to be generally satisfactory. All cemeteries and graves in the Middle East, Italy and North Africa have been handed over by the Army Graves Services to the Imperial War Graves Commission for maintenance. In addition, there are some 80,000 graves in the United Kingdom which have been registered and maintained by the Imperial War Graves Commission from the outset. In France and the Low Countries, the Imperial War Graves Commission have accepted the care of some 35,000 graves, and many more cemeteries in these countries and in the British zone of Germany will be ready for transfer by the Army Graves Service during the next few months. In India and the Far East, measures are being taken by the Imperial War Graves Commission to take over the cemeteries in these areas in the near future.

Will the right hon. Gentleman indicate when he thinks that bodies like the British Legion may, with advantage to bereaved relatives, arrange pilgrimages or missions to these cemeteries?

I thought the hon. Member knew that we are now engaged in conversations with the British Legion, in which he occupies a very important position, and certain other voluntary societies, to achieve that end.


asked the Secretary of State for War if he will make a further announcement regarding facilities for visits to war cemeteries of relatives of men killed during the war; or, if impracticable at present, when he expects a scheme will be possible, so that parents and relatives can have the consolation of looking forward to making such visits in the future.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to the hon. and gallant Member for Stockport (Wing-Commander Hulbert) on 22nd July, to which I have at present nothing to add.