HC Deb 22 October 1946 vol 427 cc1468-9
30. Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will make a statement regarding the circumstances in which Otto Jankowick, a German prisoner of war, was shot dead at Sudbury, near Derby, by a Polish sentry; and whether it is customary for Poles in this country to be given duties in connection with the continued retention of German prisoners.

Mr. Bellenger

This prisoner and one other were seen outside the wire of their camp at 1.30 a.m. on 5th October, attempting to escape. They were challenged four times by the Polish sentry on guard. One stopped but the other, Otto Jankowick, continued to run. The sentry then shot at the escaping prisoner, in accordance with standing orders for guards and sentries. He died in hospital at 6 a.m. on the same day. Polish guard companies have been employed at certain camps in relief of British manpower. Some have been withdrawn and the remainder will cease to be available for these duties in the near future

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Is the Minister not aware that there is something rather illogical in deprecating putting Polish sentries to guard German prisoners of war in this country, and in allowing German sentries to guard British prisoners in Germany?

Mr. Bellenger

On the face of it, I think that it is illogical, but I do not know what other implications the hon. Gentleman wants to give to his supplementary question.