HC Deb 27 October 1943 vol 393 cc197-8W
Sir I. Fraser

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will retain on full pay and allowances all sick and wounded returned prisoners of war until their economic position has been assured by the settlement of their pension claims and/or the securing of employment?

Sir J. Grigg

All sick and wounded prisoners of war repatriated from enemy hands are given 28 days' leave on arrival in the United Kingdom unless their condition necessitates their detention in hospital. Those who are then found on examination by a Medical Board to be unfit for further service, even of the kind permitted by the Geneva Convention, are invalided from the Service under the usual procedure which provides for a suitable period of notice to be given and is designed to ensure that the settlement of pension claims takes place prior to the date of invaliding. Special steps are being taken to ensure that there shall be no gap between the cessation of pay and the award of pension where admissible.

Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for War whether a report will be prepared and published, at an early date, of the conditions and treatment experienced by prisoners of war now returned from Germany and based on their evidence; and whether, for the information and comfort of relatives of prisoners of war still in Germany, he will have examined any specific charges of ill-treatment and their authenticity and proportionate incidence to the general experience of the ex-prisoners?

Mr. A. Henderson

It is not considered that it would be in the interest of those prisoners who have remained in Germany that a report such as is suggested by my hon. Friend should be published. I can assure him that all possible information will be obtained from those men who have returned, and, if as a result conditions in the prison camps are revealed which require remedying, the necessary steps will be taken through the Protecting Power. I should add that whenever from any source or in any way information is received as to unsatisfactory conditions in camps in enemy countries, immediate steps are taken to endeavour to have what is wrong put right.

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