HC Deb 22 April 1915 vol 71 cc388-9

asked the Under-Secretary for War whether his attention has been called to the report of Mr. John B. Jackson, of the American Embassy in Berlin, who has recently made an inspection of the various places in which Germans are interned in this country; and whether the account given by Mr. John B. Jackson of the treatment of German officers at Donington Hall is correct, in which he describes Donington Hall as a beautiful place where there is regularly a hot breakfast, a light meat luncheon, and a three-course dinner in the evening, and where there is also a well-stocked wine cellar, wines, beer, champagne, whisky, etc., and a store from which the prisoners can buy practically anything which they want in the way of food delicacies or clothing?


Officers interned at Donington Hall are allowed to spend up to a maximum of 3s. a day on their food. The exact manner in which this may be distributed between the various meals is a matter for local regulation. There are no free rations. Certain wines and beer may be obtained on payment, but champagne is not allowed. Articles of dress, tobacco, etc., may be purchased from the store.


Is the dietary supplied according to the report?


Inasmuch as there are no free rations, every prisoner of war can spend 3s. in the way he thinks best.


asked whether German officers interned at Donington Hall are allowed to have anything as in a hotel; whether the prisoners are given every facility for playing squash racquets, football, hockey, and lawn tennis; whether English girls are allowed to come and pay visits to German officers; and, if so, under what conditions?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. As regards the second, facilities for exercise are given by the provision of suitable ground within the enclosure. Prisoners have to pay for any apparatus they may require for games. In reply to the third part, any prisoner may, with the permission of the commandant, be visited once a month by not more than two persons at a time. These visits take place in the presence of a member of the staff. No rules have been laid down as to the age or sex of visitors.