HC Deb 01 November 1916 vol 86 c1742W

asked the Secretary for War how many alien civilian prisoners are at present interned in this country; whether any record has been kept and can be made public showing the trades and professions pursued by such persons before their internment; and to what extent has it been found possible to provide employment for them during their incarceration?


On 30th October there were 31,488 alien enemy civilians interned. Their occupations before internment have not been classified, and it would take a great deal of labour to make such a classification. At the present time, besides the ordinary camp fatigues and the cooking, baking, cultivation of vegetables, and road-making for the camps, the interned men are employed in tailoring, boot-making, joinery, plumbing, brush-making, mail-bag making, and other trades. In the Isle of Man small parties also work outside the camps at drainage, excavation, quarrying, road-making, farming, and peat-cutting. There are considerable difficulties in arranging employment, as to which I would refer to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for West Newington on 13th July; but every effort is made to devise new means of employment, and any suggestion to that end is welcomed.

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