§ 94. Mr. Osborne
asked the Secretary of State for War how many Polish soldiers under British command in Italy recently agreed to return to Poland; how many refused to sail at the last moment; what were their grievances; and what steps have been taken to remedy them.
§ Mr. Bellenger:
Three thousand five hundred Polish soldiers serving in Italy have volunteered to return to Poland since my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs' recent announcement. Two thousand three hundred and one of these men refused to sail from Italy at the last moment. I understand that they stated that their grievances were that they were not to be paid war gratuities, that arrangements had not been made for the transfer of their savings to Poland and that they had not been issued with new uniforms. The first two points are being examined and it is hoped to make an early public statement 1 can, however, explain the position about the issue of uniforms now. The soldiers in question were apparently under the impression that new uniforms had been issued to those returning to Poland from countries other than Italy. This is not in fact the case. Arrangements are made to ensure that all those returning to Poland, regardless of the country from which they are travelling, retain all the articles of uniform in their possession including spare suits which they have in most cases; only if their uniform is not in good condition is a new set issued.