§ 1. Lord ROBERT CECIL
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he can state what progress has been made for the release of medical personnel detained in the various belligerent countries?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Sir E. Grey)
As will be seen from White Paper, No. 8 (Miscellaneous), His Majesty's Government accepted in its main outline the interpretation placed by the German Government on the provisions of the Geneva Convention dealing with the release of medical personnel, with the reservation that such personnel should not be detained in connection with new work. The German Government pointed out that there were certain epidemics amongst the prisoners in German detention camps which require expert assistance. This referred principally to typhus, which has broken out amongst Russian prisoners and in which disease Russian doctors were more expert than German doctors. On further consideration, His Majesty's Government decided that circumstances, such as the outbreak of obscure epidemics among prisoners, might arise in which the captors might be justified by humane considerations in retaining medical personnel who are thoroughly competent to deal with the disease for a period longer than that which is ordinarily permissible. A Note to this effect was addressed to the United States Ambassador on 30th April, and an answer has not yet been received.