§ 1. Mr. HAY MORGAN
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether he can make any statement as to the release from Germany of civilian British subjects who have passed the military age; and whether his attention has been called to the case of Mr. Edwin Williams, of the Reform Club, London, who was undergoing medical treatment at Bad Nauheim when the War broke out and who has since been interned at Ruhleben under revolting conditions?
The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Mr. Neil Primrose)
His Majesty's Government have an arrangement with the German Government providing for the release of British and German civilian subjects over fifty-five years of age. As regards the second part of the question Mr. Edwin Williams, whose age is understood to be fifty-two, is not entitled to release under the above arrangement, but comes under the category of invalid civilians, whom the German Government in spite of repeated representations, have hitherto refused to release, and, in this connection, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply returned to the hon. Member for Chester on the 10th instant.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs a question, of which I have given 874 him private notice: Whether an agreement has been concluded for the release by this country and by the enemy of all incapacitated military prisoners; what is the state of the negotiations for the release of invalid civilian prisoners and of doctors; and whether he will lay Papers on the Table dealing with all or any of these and kindred questions?
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative, and on 6th January His Majesty's Government forwarded a list of German incapacitated prisoners of war to the United States Ambassador for transmission to the German Government. No list of British incapacitated prisoners of war has been received from the German Government, but on 13th February His Majesty's Government were officially informed of the proposal of the German Government that the incapacitated prisoners, to be mutually released, should be sent to Holland on the 15th instant and exchanged there on the following day. His Majesty's Government have accepted this proposal, but regret that the notice given was too short to allow of their making as thorough arrangements as they would have wished for the comfort of the prisoners in question on their journey. The German Government have hitherto refused all proposals for the mutual release of interned invalid civilians, but His Majesty's Government are continuing to do what is possible to bring about an agreement on the subject. An agreement for the mutual release of doctors was concluded on 19th October. I am considering the question of laying Papers on the above and kindred subjects.