HC Deb 28 May 1918 vol 106 c681W

asked the Undersecretary of State for War under what circumstances the positions of interpreters with the Army in the field have been reserved for Belgians or Frenchmen only, and applications from Englishmen to the Military Intelligence Department, even when the qualifications are up to the standard, are refused; and whether he will reconsider the decision of giving some of these posts to Englishmen who are proficient in languages?


Interpreters are French and Belgian and are attached to the British Army as the representatives with units of the Missions of their respective countries at General Headquarters. Their duties far exceed the mere interpretation from French or Flemish into English, andvice versâ and it was found in practice that the British interpreters appointed at the beginning of the War did not and could not represent the Missions of the Allies at General Headquarters. They were so little used that other employment had to be found for them, and it is not considered desirable to alter the present arrangements.