HC Deb 10 December 1941 vol 376 c1516
34. Mr. Wakefield

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works and Buildings why British workmen engaged on urgent war work were taken off that work to build a prisoner of war camp, of which he has been informed, when there were available numbers of Italian prisoners of war doing nothing who were able and available to build this camp for themselves?

Mr. Hicks

As a civilian Department, the Ministry of Works and Buildings is not using prisoners of war for building work, the approved policy being that their use for this purpose should be confined to military Departments, such as the War Office, which can undertake both technical supervision and also the provision of guards and administrative services.

Mr. Wakefield

Is not the Parliamentary Secretary's Department responsible to the War Office for building these camps in this way, and would it not be to the national advantage if prisoners of war were used for this purpose?

Mr. Hicks

I can only say that as a civilian Department we are not using prisoners of war.