HC Deb 20 April 1948 vol 449 cc1623-4
27. Mr. Driberg

asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that, in the past two and a half years, the Reverend F. Branney, of Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex, has incurred expenses totalling £26 in providing spiritual ministrations for Roman Catholic prisoners of war at a camp near Tillingham; that there is no Roman Catholic prisoner padre at this camp, which is more than five miles from the nearest Roman Catholic church; and if, in view of the fact that these expenses cannot be met from the camp welfare fund, since the prisoners themselves do not agree to such reimbursement, he will reconsider his previous decision not to meet them from public funds.

Mr. Shinwell

It has been the policy since we first had prisoners of war in this country not to provide chaplains at public expense nor to bear the cost of spiritual ministrations for prisoners who desire them. This was the reason for the decision not to meet the expenses in this case from public funds. The prisoners of war at this camp have now voted a sum of £35 from their welfare fund for this purpose.