HC Deb 02 March 1948 vol 448 cc201-2
34. Mr. Stokes

asked the Secretary of State for War how many prisoners of war are still detained in Cyprus; and when it is proposed that they should be returned to their own country.

Mr. M. Stewart

On 31st December there were approximately 1,000 prisoners of war in Cyprus. They will be repatriated along with prisoners of war from other parts of the Middle East.

Mr. Stokes

Is my hon. Friend aware of the short distance across the water, and would it not be possible to pop them across to Greece and let them find their own way home?

Mr. Stewart

I do not think that would be an improvement on the present system.

36. Mr. Skinnard

asked the Secretary of State for War what are the powers of camp commandants to defer repatriation of prisoners-of-war as punishment for breaches of disciplinary regulations.

Mr. M. Stewart

The camp commandant can recommend deferment of repatriation in the case of a prisoner of war who habitually misconducts himself. This compulsory deferment must, however, be approved by the local commander and is limited to three months.

Mr. Skinnard

In view of the possibly detrimental effect on the announced programme of repatriation of any considerable extension of this practice, will the Under-Secretary of State consider notifying the camp commandant that it would be preferable if alternative disciplinary measures were taken?

Mr. Stewart

I will consider that, but we have no reason to suppose that the use of this method will endanger the repatriation scheme as a whole.

39. Mr. Stokes

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is now able to state the final date by which all prisoners of war in the Middle East will have been repatriated to their country.

Mr. M. Stewart

It is hoped to complete the repatriation of prisoners of war from the Middle East during October, 1948

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