HC Deb 08 May 1918 vol 105 cc2141-3
30. Mr. G. FABER

asked the Undersecretary of State for War why certain of our Army officers, returning from active service at the front, were turned out of a first-class carriage at Folkestone to make room for German prisoners; whether he has seen the German official notice, published in the "North German Gazette" on the 20th April last, which has been set out in some of our newspapers, to the effect that second-class carriages for officer prisoners in Germany can only be permitted if ordinary passengers with second-class tickets are not thereby placed at a disadvantage, in which case officer prisoners must be sent into third-class carriages; and why we do not adopt similar treatment?

72. Colonel BURN

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that two ladies were recently requested to leave a first-class carriage at Bournemouth in order to make room for German prisoners, and will he give an order that German prisoners are to be treated in exactly the same way as British prisoners are in Germany, putting them in third-class carriages or in an empty luggage van?


As regards-the alleged incident at Folkestone, inquiries have been made, and, so far as can be ascertained, there is no truth in the statement. I am also informed that no prisoners have ever travelled from the Harbour Station by other than special prisoners' trains. The explanation may possibly be that on the 22nd and 23rd April German prisoners were disembarked at the Harbour Station, and the passengers from the mail boat had to pass empty special prisoners' trains to get to the officers' train on another platform. If any officers did get into this train they would have been told that it was a special prisoners' train and have been directed to the London train.

As regards the incident at Southampton, I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to my reply on the 29th April last to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Christchurch.

As regards the question of accommodation, I am having instructions issued that enemy officer prisoners of war should be provided with second-class accommoda- tion, and if this be not available they should travel third-class in reserved compartments.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that our officers in Germany are not provided with second-class accommodation—are they not now getting third-class or cattle trucks?


I do not know. I must have notice of that question.


Are we to understand that up to the present moment these German officers have been in the habit of travelling first-class?


I think that is the case.

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