HC Deb 17 May 1916 vol 82 cc1499-501

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has any further news which he can report upon the treatment of our prisoners in. Bulgaria?


My hon. Friend was informed, on the 15th May, that the last report from the United States representative, at Sofia, showed considerable improvement in the condition of the British prisoners of war at Philippopolis. We have received no further information in regard to this matter.

17. Major WHELER

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he would ask the United States Embassy that in all visits paid by the members of the United States Embassy in Berlin to the camps in Germany where British prisoners of war are interned the exact weekly dietary given to the prisoners should be obtained?


The United States Ambasador was requested on the 10th May to ask the United States Ambassador at Berlin to furnish, if possible, a weekly statement of the diet supplied to all combatant British prisoners of war, both officers and men. Dietaries in force at various German detention camps have from time to time been obtained by members of the United States Embassy at Berlin on the occasion of visits to those camps.


As a very large number of people are interested in and very anxious about this question of the dietary of British prisoners, and have great doubt as to the amounts given at the present time, will it be possible to give them information upon the subject, in view of the great dissatisfaction which exists?


I entirely agree with my hon. Friend that it is very desirable that all information we can obtain about the condition of British prisoners in Germany should be given, and I shall take care that this suggestion is acted upon, as far as it can be acted upon in reference to our commitments to the American Ambassador.

23. Mr. KING

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether there has been formed any estimate which can be safely made public of the total number of prisoners of war of all nationalities in the hands of the enemy?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for WAR (Mr. Tennant)

I think my hon. Friend has probably seen on reflection during the period which has elapsed since he put this question on paper that information as to the number of soldiers which any of the Allied nations may have lost as prisoners of war would more properly be sought from the Governments of those countries. I cannot think that it is any part of my duty to make any statement as to the numbers of officers or men the enemy may have captured from any of our Allies individually, or from them all collectively.

84. Colonel YATE

asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office if he is aware that, under present rules, a prisoner of war is not able to obtain food supplies by means of a direct remittance to his relatives from the amount standing to his credit, but must make an allotment of pay through the paymaster; and if he will favourably consider the advisability of granting facilities for a prisoner of war to make a direct remittance from his account current to his relatives in order that they may buy and forward food to him?


I am anxious to give all possible facilities. Perhaps the hon. and gallant Member will give me more particulars of the difficulty to which he refers.