HC Deb 19 February 1917 vol 90 cc981-2

asked the hon. Member for Sheffield (Central Division), whether the Dutch Minister at Berlin has received permission to inspect British prisoners' camps, both civilian and military?

Mr. JAMES HOPE (Lord of the Treasury)

There is no reason to suppose that the permission granted to the United States Embassy at Berlin to inspect camps, which was based on the principle of reciprocity, will not automatically be extended to the Netherland Legation at Berlin.

76. Mr. BUXTON

asked whether any further Reports furnished by the American Ambassador to Berlin, before his departure from Germany, on the condition of British prisoners at Ruhleben remain to be published?


The last Report on Ruhleben furnished by the American Ambassador was dated August, 1916. No such Reports can be published without the consent of the United States Government.

77. Mr. NIELD

asked whether the enemy prisoners of war receive parcels of food from Germany or Austria; if so, what is the weekly average of such parcels and are the contents of such parcels taken into account to the relief of rations served out to such prisoners at the expense of the public funds of this country; are parcels of similar character received by interned alien enemies; and are the same rules applied to them as to prisoners of war?


Prisoners of war, combatant and civilian, in this country are permitted to receive parcels containing food from Germany and Austria. I regret that it is not possible, without lengthy inquiry, to state the weekly average of such parcels. It is not the practice in this country, nor, so far as I am informed, in any belligerent country, to take into account the supplies so received in calculating the ration issued to such prisoners.

78. Mr. NIELD

asked when the Committee, consisting of all the Departments interested in the feeding of enemy prisoners of war and interned alien enemies, met, and when may they be expected to arrive at a decision concerning the new scale of rationing; and what is the need for prolonged consideration of the question unless the proposed new scale is to be less than that prescribed by the Food Controller for voluntary acceptance by the public in the United Kingdom?


The Committee in question has concluded its inquiry, and the result will be published in the course of the next few days as an Army Council Instruction. The fixing of the scale has involved elaborate calculations of supplies, prices, and calories, and has caused unavoidable discussion between the Departments concerned.