HC Deb 24 February 1948 vol 447 cc1756-7
15. Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

asked the Secretary of State for War whether, having regard to the fact that many prisoners have been moved to other camps since first forming friendships with British families, and that their repatriation will shortly be due, he will arrange for the Christmas travel and other concessions to apply to Easter and Whitsuntide.

31. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will arrange that German prisoners of war shall be granted special permission to stay over night with friends during Easter; and enjoy the same privileges they had during Christmas.

Mr. Shinwell

I regret that I am unable to agree to my hon. Friends' suggestions. Owing to the speed of repatriation and the considerable reorganisation of prisoner-of-war camps as their number is reduced, Easter and Whitsuntide leave travel would increase the administrative problems involved and might indeed interfere with the repatriation programme.

Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

In view of that disappointing answer, will my right hon. Friend at least consider extending generally for these two periods the five-mile travel limit which exists at present?

Mr. Shinwell

If I can arrange any further relaxation, I shall certainly do so, but I do not regard my answer as disappointing.

Mr. Sorensen

Has my right hon. Friend considered allowing men in camps near places where they can stay either to stay out later than usual or co stay out over night? Surely, that would be no inconvenience?

Mr. Shinwell

To the best of my recollection, in reply to previous Questions I agreed that they could stay out later at night. As regards further relaxation, that might interfere with the whole administration affecting prisoners of war and we are very anxious not to interfere with it unduly so that we can get ahead with repatriation.

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