HC Deb 27 October 1947 vol 443 cc510-1
55. Mr. Turton

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether German prisoners of war, who wish to become civilianised and to remain in agricultural employment, are now permitted to do so.

Mr. T. Williams

Yes, Sir. German prisoners of war are already permitted to apply to remain, after their repatriation date has become due, as civilian agricultural workers in farm billets up to the end of 1947. It has now been decided to extend the scheme to 1948, and also to permit certain Germans to volunteer for employment as civilian workers with war agricultural executive committees. Details of the new arrangements will be announced as soon as possible.

Mr. Turton

Is the Minister aware that the attitude of the different war agricultural committees varies in different counties? In some counties all these applications are accepted and in some all are being refused. Will the Minister circularise his committees to secure uniformity of treatment and application in the several counties?

Mr. Williams

I can assure the hon. Member that the county executive committees have been circularised and they do know what new regulations have been made.

Mr. Langford-Holt

Is it the Minister's policy to allow Germans who have been repatriated, but who apply to come back to this country to rejoin the industry, to return?

Mr. Williams

That matter is at present under consideration.