§ LORD NATHAN
My Lords, I beg to ask the question standing in the name of my noble friend Lord Huntingdon.
§ [The question was as follows:
§ To ask His Majesty's Government how many personnel of the Royal Army Medical Corps, repatriated from enemy prison camps, have been sent to detention camps in this country after returning to duty; and whether sufficient account was taken of their mental condition resulting from long detention in prison camps.]
§ EARL FORTESCUE
My Lords, in the absence of my noble friend Lord Croft, I have to say that in all thirty-four other ranks of the Royal Army Medical Corps have been awarded detention since they returned to duty in this country. In most cases the men were absent from their units without leave, and in no case did the sentence of detention exceed 28 days. It is, without doubt, most regrettable that it was necessary to award these sentences, but the noble Lord will appreciate that if a man persists in staying away from his unit there is no alternative open to the military authorities. On the matter raised in the second part of the question, I can assure the noble Lord that careful and special attention is given to the mental condition of prisoners of war. All repatriated prisoners on return to this country undergo a special rehabilitation course to fit them as efficiently and happily as possible into their new environment. This course consists of careful medical examination, lectures, discussions, demonstrations and films designed to attune them once more to life in this country. Care is also taken to ensure as far as possible that the men are found suitable employment. I hope that that will satisfy the noble Lord.