HC Deb 16 January 1940 vol 356 cc17-8
28. Mr. Arthur Henderson

asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to the shooting by the Nazi authorities both of Poles and CzechoSlovaks; and whether he will ascertain, if possible through neutral Powers, the extent to which these massacres have been carried on?

The Prime Minister (Mr. Chamberlain)

The reports of executions of Poles in German-occupied Poland are, I regret to say, generally confirmed by such evidence as is available. Any estimate of numbers would be conjectural, though it seems clear that the number of victims is considerable. In those parts of Poland incorporated in the Reich, the German authorities are reliably reported to be pursuing a policy of deliberate depopulation, and it appears that the intellectual leaders of the country in particular are being singled out. I understand that the Polish Government themselves propose shortly to publish a White Book on the subject.

As regards Czecho-Slovakia, I have nothing to add to the reply given to the hon. Member for Derby (Mr. Noel-Baker) on 6th December. While His Majesty's Government are sometimes able to obtain from unofficial neutral sources information on events in German-occupied territory, the hon. Member will appreciate that the position of official neutral representatives debars them from supplying reports to belligerent Governments.