HC Deb 18 April 1946 vol 421 cc2880-1
42. Mr. Younģer

asked the Secretary of State for War how many aliens who were enlisted into the British Army in North Africa are to be demobilised abroad; and what steps he is taking to assist them to resettle in a country of their choice.

The Financial Secretary to the War Office (Mr. Bellenger)

Exact figures are not at present available, but all aliens enlisted in North Africa will be demobilised abroad except in a few very special cases of a compassionate nature to which consideration is at present being given. Resettlement in the country of choice largely depends upon the individual's securing admission to that country, but such steps as are possible are being taken to assist in this respect, particularly in the case of those aliens who are being sent to Italy from this country for disposal.

Mr. Younģer

Does not my hon. Friend agree that it would be lamentable if any of the men who served for some three years in the British Army were eventually to be left adrift in Europe simply to find means of resettlement through displaced persons' camps? Will he not consider setting up some organ- isation within the demobilisation organisation to assist these men in their dealings either with the British Home Office, or the Governments of other countries in which they might be settled?

Mr. Bellenģer

I do not think it is necessary to set up any special organisation, but I can tell my hon. Friend that we are closely in touch with the Home Office and doing all we can in these cases.

Mr. David Renton

Is the Financial Secretary aware that many of these gallant men are at present being made to report to centres a long way from their homes, and does he consider that that is the right treatment for them at this stage?

Mr. Bellenģer

Of course, there are unfortunately many cases of people being far from their homes as a result of the war, but we are doing all that is humanly possible to assist.

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