§ 5. Lord ROBERT CECIL
asked what places of internment in Germany have been inspected on behalf of this country; when such inspection took place, and by whom it was made; and whether the Government are satisfied that they know what the conditions of internment of British prisoners really are?
§ Sir E. GREY
No plates of internment in Germany have been inspected at the request of His Majesty's Government. In view of the conflicting reports which have reached His Majesty's Government, mainly from private sources, as to the conditions of internment of British prisoners of war, a proposal had been made through the United States Government to Germany that United States officials, lent by the United States Government for the purpose, should be in permanent touch with the commandants of the various camps and generally supervise the distribution of relief to the British prisoners of war; but, as no answer can be obtained from the German Government to this proposal, His Majesty's Government have now requested the United States Government to obtain permission from the German Government for an American representative, selected by the United States Embassy in London, to proceed to Germany and visit the camps in which British prisoners are interned, just as Mr. Jackson, from the United States Embassy in Berlin, has visited the camps in the United Kingdom.
§ Sir E. GREY
We have not yet received an answer to the second proposal, which was only made two or three days ago, when we had given up all hope of getting an answer to the first.
§ 6. Lord ROBERT CECIL
asked in what position are the negotiations regarding the exchange of incapacitated military prisoner doctors and civilians not of military age?
§ Sir E. GREY
Both His Majesty's Government and the German Government have agreed to the principle of an exchange of prisoners of war permanently incapacitated for further military service. The decision as to the prisoners to be exchanged must necessarily be left to the Government holding them. As the hon. Member is aware, one exchange under this agreement has already been effected, and there will doubtless be further exchanges from time to time. As regards military doctors, I would refer the hon. Member to the answer which was returned to him on 22nd February. Civilian doctors, and civilians not of military age—that is, under seventeen and over fifty-five years of age in the case of Germany, and under eighteen and over fifty years of age in the case of Austria-Hungary—are entitled to repatriation under the agreements concluded between His Majesty's Government and the German and Austro-Hungarian Governments. So far as our information goes, these agreements have been observed by the Governments concerned, but in a certain number of cases, in which proof of age or confirmation of claim to be a member of the medical profession was not immediately forthcoming, special representations have been made by the Government concerned.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
Can the right hon. Gentleman give any list of the prisoners who are likely to be exchanged?
§ 36. Lord ROBERT CECIL
asked the Prime Minister which Department is in charge of the question of the exchange of prisoners?
§ The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Asquith)
All negotiations for the exchange of prisoners are conducted through the Foreign Office, with the concurrence of the War Office, in all decisions taken or proposals made.