HC Deb 20 November 1946 vol 430 cc119-20W
99. Mr. Stokes

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how many Poles are there in this country who have volunteered to return to Poland but are held up on account of formalities imposed by the Polish Government; and how long they have been waiting.

Mr. McNeil

Over 20,000 Poles now in this country have volunteered to return to Poland and are awaiting repatriation. His Majesty's Government have requested the Polish Provisional Government to speed up the individual screening of these men which the Polish authorities wish to carry out, and for which they require the men to come individually to the Polish Consulates in London and Glasgow. As the rate of screening is low the last ship left with only 768 men instead of 2,000. The Polish Provisional Government have as a result of our pressing representations now agreed to send some extra screening staff, and I hope this failure to fill the ships will not recur. But the present rate of repatriation, namely, between 3,000 and 4,000 a month, is too low, and the Polish Provisional Government have been urged to provide screening staffs for 10,000 a month. I earnestly hope these will soon be forthcoming, as some of these men already complain of having waited several months.