§ 3. Mr. MALCOLM
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can now state the result of the negotiations that have been proceeding between his Department and the War Office concerning the temporary remission of grave punishments on prisoners of war in Germany and England, and the return to Germany of British prisoners now working in Russian Poland?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Lord Robert Cecil)
The Army Council have decided, after careful consideration of the matter, that it is undesirable that an agreement should be concluded with Germany similar to that concluded between France and Germany.
§ 5. Sir EDWIN CORNWALL
asked the Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs if he will state how many British women and children are now detained in any belligerent country; will he give the numbers in each case; and will he state what steps are being taken to secure the repatriation of all such persons?
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
I regret to state that we have no complete information as to the number of British women and children detained in enemy countries. The number of women detained in Germany and Austria-Hungary against their will is very small. None are, as far as we are aware, detained in Bulgaria. We have made repeated representations to the German Government as to their refusal for many months past to allow British women to leave the occupied districts of France and Belgium. With regard to the Ottoman Empire, large numbers of women and children of British nationality have left since the beginning of hostilities. Negotiations are proceeding with the Porte for the release from Turkey of British civilians of both sexes.
§ Mr. MALCOLM
Are British women in occupied territory in France allowed to come back with the French women who are being repatriated?
§ 6. Sir E. CORNWALL
asked the Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs whether any recent arrangement has been made whereby additional British civil prisoners are now to be repatriated from Germany; and, in that case, will he state the nature and details of such arrangement?
§ Lord R. CECIL
As stated yesterday by my Noble Friend Lord Newton, an arrangement has been made whereby all civilians over the age of forty-five interned in Germany or the British Empire will be repatriated, subject to the right of either Power to detain for military reasons not more than twenty persons.
§ 7. Sir E. CORNWALL
asked how many German women and children have been repatriated from this country since the outbreak of war; and how many who are desirous of leaving still remain in this country?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Herbert Samuel)
My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply to this question. Some 12,350 German women with their children have left this country since 11th August, 1914. Of these, 11,200 were returning to Germany. Any German woman now in this country may apply for permit to return to Germany, and, with the exception of five 1098 who are interned under the Defence of the Realm Regulations, I am not aware of any German woman whom permission to return to her country has been refused.
§ 9. Sir CHARLES HENRY
asked whether representations have been made to the German Government that whereas this country has given financial assistance to the wives and families of interned civilian prisoners who require it, no such assistance is being given in similar instances in Germany?
§ Lord R. CECIL
The attention of the German Government was long since drawn to the fact that His Majesty's Government had arranged for allowances to be paid to the British-born wives of interned German civilians, notwithstanding the fact that the German Government had refused relief to the German-born wives of British subjects interned in Germany. We are considering whether we can usefully make further representations to the German Government on the subject.
12. Sir HENRY DALZIEL
asked the Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs whether the Government have now received a definite statement on behalf of the German Government that they are willing to exchange British civilians interned in Germany of military age for Germans of military age intern d in this country; whether he is aware that there is a widespread feeling that the Government, in the interests of our prisoners, should entertain this proposal; and can he add anything further to his previous declarations on the subject?
13. Mr. EDMUND HARVEY
asked whether information is received of the effect on their mental condition of the prolonged imprisonment of civilian prisoners of war in detention camps; and whether further efforts are being made for a general exchange of civilian prisoners between Great Britain and Germany before the winter sets in?
§ Lord R. CECIL
I may say that we understand that the German Government are not unnaturally willing to exchange British civilians for German civilians of military age. The Foreign Office are, however, informed that the War Office are of opinion that the military 1099 results of the exchange of these civilians make it impossible to accede to the proposal.
29. Mr. MacCALLUM SCOTT
asked the Secretary of State for War how many Indian native officers and men are prisoners in German hands according to the latest return; what are the camps in which they are interned; and how many have been exchanged since the War began?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the WAR OFFICE (Mr. Forster)
There are twelve Indian native officers and 667 of other ranks in German hands. Of these two officers and seven of other ranks are in Switzerland. The camps in which the Indian native officers and men are interned in Germany are at Zossen, Munster, Osnabruck, Friedrichsfeld, and Wahn. Eight Indian native soldiers have been exchanged.
30. Mr. MacCALLUM SCOTT
asked the Secretary of State for War how many Indian native officers and men are prisoners in Turkish hands according to the latest Return; what are the camps in which they are interned; and how many have been exchanged since the War began?
§ Mr. FORSTER
The Army Council have definite knowledge of 199 Indian native officers and 654 of other ranks being in Turkish hands. In addition, there are a considerable number of Indian native soldiers of the Kut garrison of whom no definite news has yet been received. The officers and men are at Afien Karahisiar, Ras-el-Ain, Broussa, Konia, Yosgad, and Eskinchehir, and a certain number of hospital cases at Bagdad. Six officers and 1,139 men have been exchanged.