HC Deb 11 April 1918 vol 104 cc1637-8
60. Major HUNT

asked for what reason Baron von Bissing, brother to the late German Governor of Belgium, has been released from internment and allowed to live at large with his family in the Isle of Man; whether he and his family and servants are allowed to associate freely with the people in the Island; whether all the letters and telegrams written and received by him and his family and ser- vants are strictly censored; and whether he or any of his household are allowed to use a telephone?


My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply to this question. Mr. Walter von Bissing, who is a half-brother of the late German Governor of Belgium, and was naturalised in this country in the year 1906, was interned on the 20th September, 1915. In the latter part of last year I was informed that he was in a serious state of health, and I accordingly referred the case to an independent medical practitioner, who advised that further internment would be likely to have fatal results. I also referred the case to the Advisory Committee, who, after considering the matter, advised that von Bissing might be released under proper conditions without any risk to the public safety or the defence of the realm. I accordingly sanctioned his release, first to a nursing home — where he underwent an operation — and afterwards to the Isle of Man. His residence in the Isle of Man is subject to strict conditions, including a condition that he shall not without my permission communicate, directly or indirectly, with any alien or with any person outside the Isle of Man. Letters and telegrams written and received by him and his household are censored, and they will not be allowed the use of a telephone.