HC Deb 13 April 1948 vol 449 cc763-4
3. Mr. Hollis

asked the Secretary of State for War at what date it is proposed that representatives of the Imperial War Graves Commission will be permitted to go to Java in order to inspect and photograph graves of British soldiers killed in the fighting there.

Mr. Shinwell

The Army Graves Services and not the Imperial War Graves Commission are responsible for taking photo- graphs of war graves wherever possible. Owing to the disturbed situation which existed until recently in the Netherlands East Indies, it has not been possible for the Army Graves Services to complete their work of concentrating isolated graves into military cemeteries and taking photographs of these graves. Negotiations with the local authorities are taking place, and it is hoped that work will shortly be restarted.

Mr. Hollis

While obviously it is a matter of indifference to the public whether this is done by the Army Graves Services or the Imperial War Graves Commission, is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I have a letter in my possession from his Department stating that the Imperial War Graves Commission will be returning to Java in the near future? Can he give a date when the Army Graves Services will be returning?

Mr. Shinwell

Not offhand. I shall try to obtain the information for the hon. Gentleman.