§ 1. Commander BELLAIRS
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how many German and Austrian doctors and so-called German and Austrian Red Cross employés have been allowed to go through our naval blockade under safe conducts to Europe and how many under instructions from the Foreign Office without safe conducts; and what equivalent was obtained from Germany in the number of British subjects released?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Lord Robert Cecil)
The number of such persons given safe conducts is eighty-six, and the number of those who were to be allowed to pass without safe conducts is sixty-nine. I am not aware of the precise number in each category who may have been arrested on the way owing to suspicion of fraud, but the number is not large. With regard to the last part of the question, His Majesty's Government have not so far felt obliged to refuse requests made to them on the ground of the Geneva Convention for the free passage of enemy doctors and Red Cross employés returning to their own country from overseas. In most cases doctors and Red Cross officials captured or detained by the Germans have been also released. But as in some cases they have not done so, His Majesty's Government are considering the advisability of detaining similar German individuals who would otherwise be returned.
§ Lord R. CECIL
I think if my hon. Friend had listened attentively to my reply he would see that it was dealt with. I said, "I am not aware of the precise number in each category who may have been arrested on the way owing to suspicion of fraud, but the number is not large."
§ Commander BELLAIRS
Is it not the invariable rule that they should have passports? The Noble Lord said some of them passed through without passports, and why were they passed through?
§ Lord R. CECIL
I am afraid I cannot answer without notice. It is probably some arrangement with the Admiralty, of which I was not aware.