HC Deb 27 June 1918 vol 107 c1202
16. Mr. KING

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware of the conditions of the Flowerdown working camp, that 300 men are in crowded quarters, that water, cleansing, sanitary facilities, rations, delays in supplying expected tobacco, unsympathetic treatment by officials, withdrawal of postal facilities, all have given grounds for complaint; and, seeing that these men having offered to do work of national importance have suffered more than if they had never consented to do work in their internment, whether he will order an immediate inquiry with a view to scandals being mitigated?


My right hon. Friend has asked me to answer this question. Since the opening of the camp any improvements which were necessary have been carried out, and there is no cause for complaint. The water supply and facilities for cleansing are ample, and the sanitary arrangements are well appointed. Rations are according to scale. There have been delays in obtaining tobacco when the supply has been limited, but I would point out that the ordinary consumer has also suffered in this respect. There are no grounds for the complaint as to the unsympathetic treatment by officials. Correspondence has on three occasions been stopped temporarily for purposes of discipline. The men at this camp work under similar conditions as to pay and housing as the local British workmen.


Can we conclude, therefore, that the difficulties at the start have been righted and that these men are working contentedly now?


I did not assume that there were any difficulties at the start.