§ Mr. Shurmer
asked the Secretary of State for War how many men are serving sentences in detention camps abroad: and will he consider transferring them to camps in this country.
§ Mr. Lawson
I could not say without first cabling all overseas commands, involving much time, labour and communication. The numbers change constantly and some men are committed for short sentences only. Under normal rules a soldier is transferred home as soon as possible if his sentence exceeds 12 months, unless the Court or confirming authority orders otherwise, in which case he may serve up to two years overseas. Such an order is made when there appears to be a prospect of suspending the sentence within a reasonable time. In the circumstances I do not propose to transfer these men to this country in advance of their comrades who are still awaiting repatriation or leave.