Oral Answers to Questions — British Prisoners of War

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th June 1945.

Alert me about debates like this

Mr. Graham White:

asked the Secretary of State for War if he can make any further statement with regard to the incidence of tuberculosis among returned prisoners of war, including the numbers in military and civilian hospitals, respectively.

Sir J. Griģģ:

Three-quarters of the prisoners who have returned have been examined by Mass Miniature Radiography and the rest will be examined when they return from leave. 294 have so far been found to be suffering from tuberculosis. This is about three in every 1,000. 158 have been admitted to civil sanatoria and 136 are in military and E.M.S. hospitals awaiting admission.

Mr. Graham White:

asked the Secretary of State for War if he has any in formation later than that of 29th May as to the number of British prisoners of war still unaccounted for.

Photo of Mr David Gammans Mr David Gammans , Hornsey

asked the Secretary of State for War if all British Commonwealth prisoners of war liberated by the Russian armies have yet returned to this country, and, if not, how many are still unaccounted for.

Sir J. Griģģ:

Since the beginning of this year close on 168,000 British Commonwealth prisoners have reached this country or their country of origin overseas. This is nearly 3,500 more than the figure I gave on 5th June in reply to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Wycombe (Sir A. Knox). There are still some prisoners in parts of central and southern Europe occupied by the Soviet Forces but figures are not available. Arrangements are being made for their transfer westwards to areas in British and American occupation.

Photo of Mr David Gammans Mr David Gammans , Hornsey

Have representations been made to the Soviet Government to supply lists of the names of these prisoners of war, in view of the fact that the war has been over for more than a month?

Sir J. Griģģ:

There certainly have been representations. I do not think it is a very hopeful line of country to ask them to supply lists. The representations have been in the main, if not entirely, pressure to send the prisoners back to our lines.

Photo of Colonel Sir Joseph Nall Colonel Sir Joseph Nall , Manchester Hulme

How many are there still unaccounted for in the official records?

Sir J. Griģģ:

I do not think my hon. Friend can have read the answer that I gave last week. I referred to that and suggested that it is impossible to give exact figures.

Captain Duncan:

Has my right hon. Friend the complete co-operation of the Americans in cases where it is easier geographically to go back to the American lines?

Sir J. Griģģ:

That is already arranged. There is complete co-operation between the British and the American authorities.