HC Deb 20 June 1944 vol 401 cc25-6
58. Major Sir Jocelyn Lucas

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether women in civilian clothes without brassards or distinguishing marks, caught sniping Allied troops, are to be treated as prisoner of war or asfranc-tireurs.

The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. George Hall)

According to the information in my possession only one woman who might have been engaged in active hostilities against the Allied forces in France has so far been landed in this country. There is at present no evidence available to show whether she or any other women were so engaged or whether or not she was wearing any uniform or other distinguishing marks at the time of her capture. The woman in question is being detained in this country as a civilian.

Sir J. Lucas

If there is evidence to prove that this woman was shooting, will she be tried; and can an assurance be given that women will not be protected by reason of their sex?

Mr. Hall

We must wait, in order to obtain the evidence before any decision can be arrived at.

Mr. Bellenger

May I ask my right hon. Friend whether he can give an assurance that there is no widespread use of women acting asfranc-tireurs in this manner, as has been indicated in a wide section of the Press?

Mr. Hall

We have no information whatever to support the allegation to which my hon. Friend has referred.