§ 2. Mr. MALCOLM
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs when he expects to hear, through the American Embassy, the amount of daily pay, or equivalent of pay, granted to British officer prisoners of war by the Bulgarian and Turkish Governments, respectively?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Sir E. Grey)
We have again pressed the Bulgarian Government, through the United States Ambassador, for a reply on this subject. With regard to the pay of British officers, prisoners of war in Turkey, we addressed a Note to the United States Ambassador or 7th July last, proposing the issue to them by the Ottoman Government of pay equivalent to 4s. and 4s 6d. a day according to rank. We renewed these proposals on 28th December, adding that should they prove inadequate we were willing that the United States Ambassador at Constantinople should remit to the officers in question such sums in excess of the above rates as might be found necessary to meet their actual necessities. We have 435 reason to believe that the British officers, prisoners of war in Turkey, are being paid at the above rates, and the United States Embassy at Constantinople has discretion to supplement these payments.
§ Mr. MALCOLM
What does the right hon. Gentleman mean? Seven or eight weeks ago I asked this question in the House. It is an elementary question to answer. It is a question as to the justice of taking away from British officers an equivalent amount of pay at this end. The pay of British officers is deducted at this end to the extent of the amount they are supposed to receive from the Bulgarian Government. If the amount cannot be ascertained it may be that too much is deducted.
§ Sir E. GREY
It may be an easy question to answer, but we have first to get a reply from the Bulgarian Government, and we are pressing for that.
§ Mr. GINNELL
Have the Turks shot General Townshend in conformity with the practice in this country?
§ 3. Mr. MALCOLM
asked whether the German Government has now consented or refused to allow their disabled prisoners of war to be transported to Holland on the hospital ship offered for this purpose by His Majesty's Government?
§ Sir E. GREY
The German Government have agreed to the use of a British hospital ship to enable the exchange of British and German incapacitated combatant prisoners of war to be carried out. The German Government have asked for a fortnight's notice and have proposed 24th May as the date for the exchange.
§ 4. Mr. MALCOLM
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether negotiations are still in progress with the German Government to allow a certain number of British ministers of religion to 436 be interned in Germany and to conduct services in prisoner camps during the period of the War?
§ Sir E. GREY
The reply to my hon. Friend's question is in the affirmative. We have already taken steps to expedite, if possible, a reply from the German Government.
§ 5. Mr. MALCOLM
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that French prisoners of war interned in Germany are not given the benefit of the current rate of exchange for money sent to them from France, thus losing about 20 per cent, of its value; whether he has received or will ask for information as to whether British prisoners are so treated; and, if so, will he make representations similar to those made by the French Government in order to have this grievance redressed?
§ Sir E. GREY
The reply to the first part of the question is in the negative; we have, however, received complaints from British officer prisoners in Germany that remittances are made to them at the rate of Mark 20 to the £ sterling; remittances to Germany made through the General Post Office work out at about Mark 25.50 to the £ sterling; inquiries have been made of the German Government as to the rate of exchange governing the issue of pay to officer prisoners, and in the event of its being found necessary, representations will be made.
§ 1. Mr. MALCOLM
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the American Embassy has yet been able to ascertain from the German Government whether British prisoners of war interned for misdemeanours will be allowed to receive parcels from home containing food; and whether, in the event of no reply having been received, His Majesty's Government will give German prisoners of war undergoing punishment for similar offences prison rations equivalent to those provided to British misdemeanants in Germany?
§ Mr. TENNANT
Information was received through the American Embassy on the 5th May that the German authorities forbid prisoners of war to receive money or provisions when undergoing imprisonment. It has also been ascertained through the same channel that the regulated ration scale of a prisoner of war in Germany is not applicable to a man when in prison. He is then treated in all ways similarly to a German soldier undergoing 437 imprisonment, but the actual scale of ration is not known. The same rule holds good in this country where a German combatant prisoner under punishment is treated similarly to an English soldier undergoing punishment.