HC Deb 15 June 1945 vol 411 cc1891-2W
Lieut.-Colonel Profumo

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the shortage of labour for the coming harvest he will make every effort to make German prisoners available to farmers in small numbers; and whether, in order to provide the necessary guards, he will examine the possibility of employing repatriated British prisoners of war who have completed their term of leave and would in all probability be well suited to such assignments.

Sir J. Grigg

I have been asked to reply. Subject to local security restrictions all German prisoners allocated to agriculture may work in small parties as needed by the farmer employer. Repatriated British prisoners of war are already employed to guard German prisoners of war provided they are suitable and willing.

Mr. Harvey

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will give the latest available figures showing how many German prisoners of war in this country are engaged in agricultural and other useful work and how many are unemployed; and whether arrangements are now being made to encourage those prisoners at present unemployed to undertake handicraft and similar work in their camps.

Sir J. Grigg

Approximately 70,000 German prisoners of war are employed on agriculture and other useful work, and 125,000 are at present unemployed. Arrangements are now being made to bring as many of these as possible into employment. Useful work is also being carried out inside the camps.

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