Repatriation

Oral Answers to Questions — Prisoners of War – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20th January 1948.

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Photo of Mr Richard Stokes Mr Richard Stokes , Ipswich 12:00 am, 20th January 1948

asked the Secretary of State for War how many prisoners of war were repatriated from Great Britain and the Middle East, respectively, during December; and how many are expected to return from the Middle East during January.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

Twenty thousand seven hundred and two and 1,916 German prisoners of war were repatriated from Great Britain and the Middle East respectively during December, 1947, and it is hoped to repatriate 2,365 from the Middle East during January, 1948. I should like to take this opportunity of announcing that during the first quarter of 1948 it is proposed to repatriate 74,000 prisoners of war from Great Britain and it is hoped to complete their repatriation during July. The Middle East presents a more difficult problem but it is intended to repatriate 15,000 in each of the first two quarters of 1948 and I hope to complete repatriation at an earlier date than was originally visualised.

Photo of Mr Richard Stokes Mr Richard Stokes , Ipswich

May I say to the right hon. Gentleman that I am as pleased with that reply as I was displeased with the one before?

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

In that event, perhaps the hon. Gentleman will withdraw his notice to raise the other matter on the Adjournment.

Photo of Mr Tom Driberg Mr Tom Driberg , Maldon

While welcoming very warmly the new announcement by my right hon. Friend—[Interruption]—andthe return to this House of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Woodford (Mr. Churchill)—may I ask him whether the rate of repatriation from the Middle East also will be speeded up if more transport becomes available?

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

I also am glad to see that the right hon. Gentleman has been repatriated. In reply to my hon. Friend, we are pushing on with that as fast as we can.

Photo of Mr Christopher Hollis Mr Christopher Hollis , Devizes

In view of the right hon. Gentleman's statement that it is hoped to complete repatriation at a date earlier than has previously been envisaged, can he tell us that date?

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

I said "at an earlier date."