HC Deb 19 July 1916 vol 84 cc1016-7
59. Mr. BARLOW

asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether he has any information to give as to the dispatch of parcels to prisoners in Turkey; whether he is aware that a considerable number of parcels sent to British prisoners fail to arrive; and whether he can do anything to secure a more satisfactory arrangement?


I fear that the facts are as stated in the second part of this question as regards the prisoners taken in Mesopotamia. I am informed that not withstanding all the efforts of the United States Ambassador at Constantinople—for which efforts His Majesty's Government are very grateful—it has been impossible as yet to learn where the greater number of the British prisoners just referred to are interned. Unless parcels are accurately addressed the eventual receipt of them by the addressee is of course doubtful. The United States Embassy in Constantinople are doing all they can to obtain accurate information as to the location of the British prisoners in Turkey and to get this information as soon as possible.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware of the great difficulty with regard to the transmission of parcels even to Turkey, and can he hold out any prospect of better possibilities in the future?


My hon. Friend may rely upon our doing everything that we can to see that parcels and everything else may be sent to prisoners.


Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether the prisoners in Turkey generally are well treated?


I think so, but in view of the experience of my right hon. Friend the late Under-Secretary of State for War, I rather hesitate to commit myself to any definite statement without notice.