Oral Answers to Questions — Prisoners of War.

– in the House of Commons on 10th March 1942.

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Photo of Sir Charles Lyle Sir Charles Lyle , Bournemouth

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether any arrangements have yet been made to ensure that the British, Dominion, Indian and other prisoners of war, now in Japanese hands, will enjoy the services of the Red Cross and the protection of a neutral Power?

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Lambeth Norwood

I would ask my hon. Friend to await the statement which will be made at the end of Questions by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary.

Photo of Mr James Milner Mr James Milner , Leeds South East

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War the number of Italian prisoners now in India; upon what work, if any, they are engaged; and whether any are working outside India?

Photo of Sir William Boulton Sir William Boulton , Sheffield Central

I have been asked to reply on behalf of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for India. The number of Italian prisoners of war in India is approximately 65,000. In addition to the numbers, which vary from time to time, employed on fatigues and administrative duties in camps, prisoners are employed upon road-making, manufacture of clothing, construction of huts, vegetable gardening and anti-malarial drainage. No Italian prisoners of war sent to India are employed outside that country.

Photo of Mr James Milner Mr James Milner , Leeds South East

Having regard to the fact that according to the newspapers there are something like 200,000 Italian prisoners, and having regard to the opportunities for work on road-making in Burma, China and elsewhere, how is it that the whole of them are not employed?

Photo of Sir William Boulton Sir William Boulton , Sheffield Central

According to my information, there are 65,000 in India.