HC Deb 22 March 1917 vol 91 c2068W

asked the hon. Member for Sheffield (Central Division) whether he is aware that German prisoners are now repairing the roads, etc., in France only a few miles behind the British trenches, and that rarely, if ever, are there attempts to escape; and if, seeing that it would be more difficult for a German prisoner in this country to escape for any length of time, and in view of the urgent demands now put forward for agricultural labourers, arrangements will be made to utilise some of the 50,000 German prisoners now interned in this country for this purpose?


Practically all the German combatant prisoners of war in this country who are available for employment are now either engaged on work of first-rate national importance or will be so engaged as soon as the necessary accommodation for them is ready. The total number of combatant prisoners in the United Kingdom is now slightly under 28,000 According to international usage civilian prisoners cannot be forced to work, but a certain number are voluntarily employed.