Oral Answers to Questions — Polish Officers (Leave).

– in the House of Commons on 17th February 1942.

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Photo of Mr Adam M'Kinlay Mr Adam M'Kinlay , Dunbartonshire

asked the Secretary of State for War upon what grounds have approximately 200 Polish officers stationed at a place of which he has been given notice, been granted two years leave; on whose instructions are the Armed Forces denied the service of these men; how many artillery officers are stationed there; how many men with medical qualifications; who brought them to this country; and will he take steps to see that the officers in question are given the opportunity to fight for the Allied cause on one of the many fronts?

Photo of Mr David Margesson Mr David Margesson , Rugby

I understand that the Polish officers referred to were mostly evacuated to this country from France with the Polish Forces and are not required for immediate employment in the Polish Army for various reasons. They have therefore been granted prolonged leave by the Polish authorities in order to enable them to take up civilian employment. A very large proportion of these officers are of low medical category and many are over 50 years of age.

Photo of Mr Adam M'Kinlay Mr Adam M'Kinlay , Dunbartonshire

Is the Minister aware that the local people are distracted at the thought that their young men are being taken into the Fighting Services while these men, most of whom are physically fit, are denied the right to fight because, perhaps, of some political reason? If there are political reasons associated with this matter, will he have these officers removed from this vulnerable area from which convoys are sent across the Western ocean?

Photo of Mr David Margesson Mr David Margesson , Rugby

My information is that they are mostly of low medical category and that many are over 50 years of age. In addition, we are doing our best to find civilian employment for these men.

Photo of Captain Alan Graham Captain Alan Graham , Wirral

Is it not in every way regrettable that such aspersions should be cast on Allied officers?

Photo of Mr Adam M'Kinlay Mr Adam M'Kinlay , Dunbartonshire

I am not casting aspersions. If medical evidence is produced that these men are physically fit, will the Minister take up the matter?