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German Ex-Prisoners Of War

Volume 465: debated on Tuesday 17 May 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for War how many German ex-prisoners of war are serving in bomb disposal units or otherwise in the British Army; what is their status; and what are the terms of their engagement.

Six hundred and forty-five German former prisoners of war are employed with bomb disposal units in the United Kingdom. A further 550 German former prisoners of war employed by the War Department are serving as volunteer civilian workers in the Middle East. Those in the United Kingdom are paid at rates varying between 103s. and 113s. per week of 44 hours. When accommodated and rationed at public expense a deduction of 30s. a week is made. In other respects such as leave, sick leave, insurance and Income Tax, their conditions of service are comparable to those of British industrial employees of the War Department. Those in the Middle East are paid at monthly rates varying from about £14 for semi-skilled workers to about £36 for medical officers and garrison engineers. They work a 48-hour week, get free accommodation, rations and medical treatment, and pay only local taxes. Both categories are employed under contracts which expire on 31st December, 1949.

Yes, they are all civilians; they are what is described as "civilianised."