69. Colonel BURN
asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware of the freedom given to the German prisoners in certain parts of the country, and the harm that is being done by the freedom of intercourse that is now possible between them and the inhabitants; and will he take steps to prevent this?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
Men employed in agriculture, which is virtually the only work on which prisoners of war are now engaged, owing to the smallness of the groups in which they are employed, have 966 necessarily always had less immediate supervision than those employed in other forms of labour. The supervision of these men and all other prisoners of war is now precisely the same as it was before the Armistice. Strict orders are issued as to the intercourse between prisoners of war and the inhabitants, and I understand that these orders are observed.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this possibility of freedom of intercourse has led to most undesirable results in the case of certainly three young girls, and that lying reports of conditions under which they live are spread by these German prisoners, and unfortunately are believed?