HC Deb 12 December 1944 vol 406 c1031
2 and 3. Mr. Spearman

asked the Secretary of State for War (1) what are the present arrangements for supervision over the Italian prisoners stationed near Scarborough;

(2) if he is aware that there are Italian prisoners stationed near Scarborough who are of no assistance to the farmers and who have been caught stealing produce; and if he will see that a stricter control is kept over these men.

Sir J. Grigg

With the hon. Member's permission I will answer these two questions together. These prisoners of war are co-operators. They are supervised by two British sergeants. No complaints have been received by the Camp Commandant or by these non-commissioned officers that the work of the prisoners is unsatisfactory. One complaint was made about a fortnight ago that an Italian prisoner had stolen some apples, but the complainant failed to identify the man at a parade held in the presence of the local police.

Mr. Spearman

If I give my right hon. Friend evidence of other misdeeds and thefts, would he consider increasing the supervision in this camp so that any section of it shall not be permitted to bring discredit on the whole camp?

Sir J. Grigg

I think it would be very much better if the hon. Member first ensured that the local inhabitants took complaints to the camp commandant so that he could investigate them on the spot, where all the facilities are available.