HC Deb 11 February 1947 vol 433 cc173-4
8. Mr. Dodds-Parker

asked the Secretary of State for War how many German and Italian prisoners of war, respectively, remain in the Middle East and North Africa under British control.

Mr. Bellenger

At 31st January approximately 90,000, all of whom are German prisoners.

Mr. Dodds-Parker

May I ask what action is being taken to repatriate these men? At what rate are they going back to Germany?

Mr. Bellenger

I think the next Question deals with that point.

Mr. Hogg

What is the basis on which these men are retained at all? Does it not use up manpower to guard them, and what possible right in humanity have we to keep them?

Mr. Bellenger

They are part of the whole picture. We have a far larger number in this country. All of them are being repatriated fairly speedily.

Mr. Godfrey Nicholson

That does not answer the Question at all. Are they performing any function in the Middle East?

Mr. Bellenger

They are pretty fully occupied.

Brigadier Low

What are they doing?

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