HC Deb 20 February 1945 vol 408 c612
31. Dr. Little

asked the Secretary of State for War how many German prisoners have escaped since their arrival in Northern Ireland and if they have all been recaptured; and whether, owing to the proximity of neutral Eire, steps will be immediately taken to prevent further escapes.

Sir J. Grigg

Twenty German prisoners have escaped and all have been recaptured. Every possible precaution is being taken to prevent escapes.

Dr. Little

In view of the nearness to Ulster of Eire, will strong steps be taken to prevent the escape of these prisoners of war in the future?

Sir J. Grigg

If every possible precaution is being taken, I do not think I can possibly guarantee to take stronger measures.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir Assheton Pownall

Is it not rather unwise to have considerable numbers of German prisoners 15 or 20 miles from the Eire boundary?

Sir J. Grigg

It may be the only possible place we have to house them.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir William Allen

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that these escaped prisoners are in possession of road maps of Ireland; and what steps are being taken to prevent them escaping to their friends in Southern Ireland?

Sir J. Grigg

I would like to verify that particular item of information, which had not been brought to my notice before.