Missing Men (Tracing).

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army. – in the House of Commons on 17th February 1942.

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Photo of Sir Henry Morris-Jones Sir Henry Morris-Jones , Denbigh

asked the Secretary of State for War whether the British Red Cross Society is responsible to the War Office for tracing wounded and missing in hospitals, or whether the War Office has any machinery of its own to deal with this matter?

Photo of Mr David Margesson Mr David Margesson , Rugby

The duty of tracing missing military personal is the responsibility of the War Office. Full details of the Army organisation by which this function is performed are contained in the answer given to my hon. Friend on 19th December last. A panel of voluntary workers organised by the War Organisation of the British Red Cross Society carries out inquiries among patients in military hospitals in this country with a view to collecting information about missing men with whom the patients may have been in contact in the field. This work, for which we are most grateful, is done at the request of the War Office, to whom reports are rendered.

Photo of Sir Henry Morris-Jones Sir Henry Morris-Jones , Denbigh

Is it not the case that the War Office have handed over this work to the British Red Cross Society, who are doing it very badly? Is it not, therefore, the responsibility of the War Office to see that the work is done properly?

Photo of Mr David Margesson Mr David Margesson , Rugby

I am not aware that it is being done poorly. As I have said, we have our own organisation to deal with this matter, which is supplemented by voluntary work.

Photo of Sir Henry Morris-Jones Sir Henry Morris-Jones , Denbigh

Is it not the case that the officer responsible for this work resigned?