HL Deb 20 June 1944 vol 132 c299

My Lords, I beg to ask the starred question which stands in my name.

[The question was as follows:

To ask His Majesty's Government, whether they will arrange that a contingent of Island troops, senior and other ranks, be at once made ready and available for the coming redemption of the Norman Islands and to act for the protection and safety of the inhabitants in view of the large number of alien prisoners of war in the islands.]


My Lords, due consideration has been given to the fact that there are in the Channel Islands a large number of alien prisoners of war and everything possible will of course be done for the protection and safety of the inhabitants. The composition of any Allied garrison must depend on the military situation at the time. Men from the Channel Islands are, as the noble Lord is aware, serving in many different units. In order to raise a contingent composed of them it would be necessary to withdraw them from their present duties. On military grounds it is not considered that this course would be justified.


Is the noble Lord aware that there are very many hundreds of Norman Islanders in this country who are over military age, but all trained men, who would be only too glad to volunteer and to go to the Islands for the purpose mentioned in my question?


I am afraid that if there are Channel Islanders who are over military age and not actively engaged in the Forces that would make it still more undesirable that they should be used for this particular purpose at a vital moment in operations. But I can assure my noble friend that everything possible will be clone and that his point is very clearly in our minds.