HC Deb 20 May 1919 vol 116 cc191-2
45 and 46. Mr. LYLE

asked the Prime Minister (1) what steps have been, or are being, taken to secure from the German authorities those camp commandants against whom inhuman treatment of our prisoners of war is alleged, so that they may be formally placed on their trial; (2) whether under the Peace Treaty or otherwise the Allies propose to take any punitive action against the ex-Crown Prince of Germany?

Mr. BONAR LAW (Leader of the House)

The ex-Crown Prince and the others mentioned in this question would under the terms of the Treaty be liable to trial in the same way as other enemy persons connected with the War.


Has my right hon. Friend had his attention drawn to a report which has been issued by one of the large Press agencies, in which it is stated that the ex-Crown Prince is reported to have said that if his extradition was demanded he would commit suicide? That being so, would it not be in the interests of all concerned to demand his extradition?


That is a case in which His Majesty's Government should take no action.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

May I ask if Admiral von Tirpitz is amongst those on the list?


I did not mention any names, and I think the House will readily understand that when a Committee have been examining evidence it would be a very unwise thing to mention names if there was any desire to punish the people concerned.

Lieut.-Colonel C. LOWTHER

In view of the fact that the Crown Prince has given that sacred pledge, will the right hon. Gentleman see that he has the very fullest trial?

Brigadier-General CROFT

May I ask are we to take it for granted that all these commandants who are guilty of these crimes against civilisation can be recovered by the Allies by such time as is necessary?


It is part of the terms of the Treaty as mentioned in the summary that the German Government are to hand over the people who are demanded for trial by the Allies.


Are we to understand that the British Government must wait until an Allied Commission has reported before we can demand that the people who maltreated our prisoners are to be handed over to us; and is it not the fact that the longer we wait the more difficult it will be to get them?


If the hon. Gentleman will look at the summary, I think he-will see that each of the Allies is entitled to demand the persons against whom there is a charge of having committed atrocities in connection with any one of the Allies.