HC Deb 11 August 1947 vol 441 cc1916-7
27. Mr. Turton

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in order to increase agricultural production at home, he will issue guidance to his committees that applications to be permitted to remain as civilian farmworkers on holdings in this country from German prisoners of war due for repatriation, shall receive favourable consideration.

Mr. Collick

The instructions already issued by my Department provide for favourable consideration to be given to applications from billeted German prisoners of war to remain as civilian farm workers in cases where the conditions of the scheme are complied with, and I am not aware that committees are in need of further guidance.

Mr. Turton

Is it not absolute folly to refuse applications for work on farms at present when we are short of dollars and short of food?

Mr. David Renton

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that similar applications made by Italian prisoners of war were not considered until after those men had been repatriated, and would he prevent the same mistake from being made in respect of the Germans.

Mr. Collick

The existing provisions already allow for that. Wherever a German prisoner of war is billeted, it is open to the farmer to make application for him to be allowed to remain as a civilian.