HC Deb 21 September 1948 vol 456 cc694-5
45. Mr. Driberg

asked the Prime Minister if, before the proposal to repatriate all German ex-prisoners, other than those married to English women or working for individual farmers, is carried out, he will instruct the Ministers of Agriculture and Labour to weigh any compassionate or other considerations which may justify them in retaining here such ex-prisoners as wish to remain after 31st December next.

The Lord President of the Council (Mr. Herbert Morrison)

I have been asked to reply. My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary will deal with any applications by or on behalf of German ex-prisoners of war who are not required here further for agricultural or other special work to be allcwed to remain on compassionate or other grounds. Such cases will be dealt with on their merits, though I should make it clear that in the main those prisoners who are no longer required will have to return to Germany.

Mr. Driberg

Can we take it that my right hon. Friend and the Minister of Agriculture are satisfied that there will be an adequate supply of agricultural manpower next year in this country, and also will he bear in mind that there may be great hardship and waste of labour if men who have lost their homes and their families are sent back to a country where perhaps no jobs are waiting for them?

Mr. Morrison

That is really another question. All I am saying is that the question of what aliens should stay in this country or come in, must be dealt with fairly as between case and case by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary.

Mr. Beswick

Can my right hon. Friend assure us that there will be no question of retaining in this country German prisoners of war who appear to spend their time banging the big drum in Sir Oswald Mosley's band?

Mr. Morrison

I have no doubt that that is a consideration which would be taken into proper account.