HC Deb 07 June 1905 vol 147 c942

To ask the Secretary of State for War how many Boers are still detained as prisoners of war in Ceylon; what is the reason of their detention so long after the conclusion of peace, and for how long is it intended that this detention shall continue; and whether his attention has been directed to an action brought against H. Engelbrecht, a Boer prisoner of war, in the course of which action the Judge said that the allowance made by the Government to the prisoner was hardly sufficient to enable him to pay for food, clothing, shelter, and washing; and whether he intends to take any action in view of this statement.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Lyttelton.) 1. Engelbrecht is the only one out of the number still remaining in Ceylon. 2. He was released in September, 1903, with four others, these being the only recalcitrant prisoners of war remaining at that time, and he was paid an allowance of one rupee a day, being required to make his own arrangements for his maintenance. He was informed that he would return to South Africa only if he made the necessary declaration of allegiance, but that he would at any time be given a passage to any other country. 3. I have not seen an account of the action to which reference is made, but I do not suppose that the allowance is designed to maintain an able-bodied man in idleness.