§ 90. Mr. GILBERT
asked the hon. Member for Sheffield (Central Division) if he can state the number of German prisoners detained in this country on 31st December last; and if he will state what number of the total are employed in agriculture or other industries?
§ Mr. HOPE (Lord of the Treasury)
The total number of combatant prisoners of war in this country on 9th January was 49,817, but of these only 31,541 were available for employment, the rest being exempted by rank or personal disability. The number actually employed on necessary camp duties and services of national importance was 28,050, while the whole of the remainder have been already allotted to such services and only await the necessary accommodation.
§ 91. Mr. G. FABER
asked the hon. Member for Sheffield (Central Division) whether Captain von Müller, late of the "Emden," and Lieutenant von Tirpitz were both. or was either of them, among 499 the German prisoners of war recently returned by us; and have they been returned to Germany or to Holland for internment there?
§ Mr. HOPE
I am afraid that my hon. Friend has not quite taken in the provisions of The Hague agreement. Officers interned in Holland go there not in exchange at all, but solely according to the time they have been in captivity. There is no question of setting one prisoner against another. Those officers who have been in captivity for a certain length of time have a right to go, just as certain of our officers have a similar right.