HC Deb 15 October 1946 vol 427 cc790-1
31. Colonel Gomme-Duncan

asked the Secretary of State for War how many Polish soldiers of all ranks are now stationed in Scotland and England and Wales, respectively; and what further numbers may be expected

Mr. Bellenger

At present there are about 36,000 Polish troops in Scotland, 64,000 in England and 8,000 in Wales; 52,000 more are due to arrive in the United Kingdom and will be accommodated in England and Wales.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

While, naturally, we wish to help these men as much as we possibly can, will the right hon. Gentleman ensure that the proportion, on the basis of the population strength, between England and Wales and Scotland will be a fair one?

Mr. Bellenger

Yes, Sir. I understand the point fully, and we are endeavouring to meet it.

Mr. M. MacMillan

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that about 16,000 of these troops who are stationed in Scotland are acknowledged by the War Office, in reply to a letter by the hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Mr. Gandar Dower), to have been members of the German Forces during the war, and to have fought against us, while others were members of the Todt Organisation? Will he see that something is done to make sure that men of that type are not stationed in Scotland?

Mr. Bellenger

I am not fully apprised of the point made by my hon. Friend, but I will see we spread these troops as fairly as possible.

Mr. Oliver Poole

Will the right hon. Gentleman give the maximum notice possible to the local authorities in the particular areas to which these men are sent before sending them, so that arrangements can be made for their reception?

Mr. Bellenger

Yes, Sir.