HC Deb 05 June 1945 vol 411 cc726-7W
Sir A. Knox

asked the Secretary of State for War the number of British prisoners of war who have now been repatriated and the number still awaiting repatriation and their present location.

Sir J. Grigg

Since I gave an answer to a number of hon. Members on 29th May a further 8,500 British Commonwealth prisoners have reached this country, making 164,500 in all, since the beginning of this year. No appreciable groups of prisoners now remain awaiting repatriation in the areas occupied by the British and American Armies. Assurances have now been given by the Soviet authorities that British prisoners in Austria and other southern areas in their occupation will be transferred westwards under arrangements similar to those made with S.H.A.E.F.

Mr. Barr

asked the Secretary of State for War if he has any information as to why our prisoners of war have not yet been released from Luckenwalde; and if he will make inquiries from the Russian Government on this matter.

Sir J. Grigg

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave a number of hon. Members on 29th May. According to the information received from S.H.A.E.F. all British Commonwealth prisoners of war who were formerly detained in Stalag IIIA, Luckenwalde, have already been transferred to the S.H.A.E.F. zone under the reciprocal agreement made between S.H.A.E.F. and the Soviet High Command for the overland transfer of released prisoners of war and the great majority of these have now been evacuated by air to the United Kingdom.

Brigadier-General Clifton Brown

asked the Secretary of State for War whether some 8,000 of our prisoners of war released by the Russians at Stalag IV B on 23rd April have yet arrived home, or what is the cause of the delay.

Sir J. Grigg

As far as I am aware all the prisoners of war formerly in Stalag IV B at Muhlberg have been transferred to the zone of S.H.A.E.F. and most of them have now reached this country. In this connection I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the reply I gave a number of hon. Members on 29th May.