HC Deb 23 November 1943 vol 393 cc1411-2
1. Mr. Rhys Davies

asked the Secretary of State for War whether all the men recently repatriated from German prisoner-of-war camps are to be allowed their discharge from His Majesty's Forces?

The Secretary of State for War (Sir James Grigg)

It is likely that most of those repatriated, after examination by a mixed medical commission, will be discharged from the Army. Those who are found to be fit for further military service of the kind permitted by the Geneva Convention will be retained.

Mr. Davies

Are we to understand that these men, who have suffered so much, will not be entitled to their discharge if the War Office decides to retain them?

Sir J. Grigg

Hon. Members can understand exactly what I said, namely, that if their medical condition justifies it, they will be discharged, and that most of them will be. Those who are fit will be retained for such service as the Geneva Convention permits.

Mr. Davies

Were they not repatriated because they were wounded, and too sick to be in any Army?

Sir J. Grigg

Some have improved in condition after being repatriated. But, as I said, the majority will be discharged.

9. Mr. Barr

asked the Secretary of State for War by what authority supplies of beer, which had been prepared for the reception of repatriated Service-men landing at Leith, were withdrawn?

Sir J. Grigg

It was decided by the military authorities that it was more convenient, and in the case of sick and wounded better from a medical point of view, for the beer prepared for the ex-prisoners of war landing at Leith to be sent to the reception stations and medical centres, and served with the evening meal rather than handed out on the quay or in the train.

Mr. Barr

Why did the B.B.C. rush in so eagerly on this subject? Is the whole matter not explained by the desire of the brewing industry for self-advertisement?