HC Deb 15 July 1919 vol 118 cc196-7
31. Mr. A. SHORT

asked whether he is aware that 8,821 German prisoners are employed on military work by the War Office; and, if so, whether he will super sede such labour with British civilian labour?

Captain GUEST

The figures given arc approximately correct. Instructions have already been issued that German prisoners of war are not to be employed by the military authorities on work for which civilian labour is available and could be employed. It is anticipated that by the end of the present month the number of prisoner employed will have been reduced to about 6,500, and this number will, of course, be still further reduced, from time to time, as the supply of civilian labour increases.

Captain W. BENN

Can the hon. Gentleman say when it is intended to restore these men to their own country?

Captain GUEST

I should be glad to have notice of that.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that a considerable number of British workmen who can do this work are receiving out-of-work donation?

Lieut.-Colonel THORNE

Is it not laid down in the Peace Treaty that the German prisoners are to be returned to their own homes?

Captain GUEST

I have asked for notice of the question. With regard to the question by my hon. Friend (Mr. Tyson Wilson) there is more in that than meets the eye. Every effort has been made to obtain civilian employment.