HC Deb 31 October 1916 vol 86 c1492
6. Commander BELLAIRS

asked the Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, in view of the lapse of time, whether he is now at liberty to state the reasons of the Foreign Office for granting a free conduct to Captain Boy-Ed, formerly German military attaché in the United States; whether he is aware that Captain Boy-Ed was at the head of an organisation engaged in forgery, murder, and arson in the United States; whether he is aware that Captain Boy-Ed is now organising the occasional U—boat operations off the American coast from Lübeck; and whether, in view of the uniformity with which German diplomatic representatives violate the neutrality of the countries where they are guests, the Foreign Office will announce that no further safe—conducts will be granted?


As stated in reply to the hon. Member for the Barnsley Division on 22nd December last, Captain Boy-Ed was given a safe—conduct in deference to the officially expressed wish of the United States Government. At the same time, in view of his activities referred to in the second part of the question, His Majesty's Government felt that his capacity for injuring the interests of this country would at least not be greater in Germany than they had been in the United States. His Majesty's Government, therefore, acceded in this instance to the request of the United States Government, and have since seen no reason to alter this view. With regard to the rest of the question, I have no reason to doubt that all that my hon. and gallant Friend says about Captain Boy-Ed's activities is true. Some of it is officially known to be true. But I do not think that anything would be gained my making the announcement suggested in the last part of the question.