HC Deb 20 June 1944 vol 401 cc16-7
31. Mr. Bellenger

asked the Secretary of State for War to what extent protected personnel, not being called upon to do other than medical work while in enemy hands, are at a disadvantage as compared with other prisoners of war, who receive lager-geld from the enemy in addition to their ordinary pay, which is credited to their accounts in England; and if he will make a statement.

Sir J. Grigg

The hon. Member's Question, broadly speaking, sets out the present position, and at first sight the position is certainly anomalous. But protected personnel are only called upon to perform the duties which they would normally undertake. Other prisoners earn working pay for the work in industry and agriculture which they are compelled to do for the Germans, often, as the hon. Member is doubtless aware, in very arduous conditions.

Mr. Bellenger

Is my right hon. Friend aware that many of these medical personnel would prefer to do work of an agricultural nature, but are not permitted to do so, because of the nature of their calling; and, as so many of these gallant men will have to stay until the termination of hostilities, can he not give them some recompense?

Sir J. Grigg

I have been into the matter at great length. Whatever is done will provide either an apparent or a real anomaly. In the present case, I think that the anomaly is apparent, and any remedy might provide a real anomaly. But I will continue to look into the matter.

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