HC Deb 27 July 1916 vol 84 cc1840-1
7. Colonel YATE

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what is the present condition of the British Consul at Shiraz and the other British subjects held prisoners by German emissaries in Persia; whether there is any prospect of their immediate release; and, if not, whether His Majesty's Government will now take effective retaliatory measures against the German officials on the British concession in China?


According to our latest information all these British subjects except two are in good health, and the treatment being accorded to the prisoners had recently improved. In regard to the last part of the question I would observe that, whatever may have been the initial responsibility of German agents in the matter, these prisoners are at present in the hands of rebel Persian Tribesmen, and that the arrest of Germans in China would leave those tribesmen totally unaffected. Everything possible is being done to secure the release of these unfortunate British subjects, but the difficulties are very great.

Colonel YATE

Considering that the seizure of British subjects originated with German emissaries, will His Majesty's Government take no retaliatory steps at all?


If we can catch the original Germans there would be very good reasons for retaliatory steps, but I am not quite sure that it is really sound policy to punish one German for what another German has done.