§ 52. Sir A. Knox
asked the Secretary of State for War, whether the International Red Cross has agreed to increase the number of inspectors of prisoners camps in Germany; and whether, alter natively, or in addition, he will ask the protecting Power to appoint more inspectors?
§ Mr. Law
This question was discussed with representatives of the International Red Cross Committee during a recent visit to this country, and we are now awaiting the outcome of their report to their Committee in Geneva. As regards the second part of the Question, detailed reports are received at frequent intervals from the Protecting Power, whose representatives are discharging their responsibilities with great thoroughness, and I think that we can rely upon them to see that they are not handicapped by lack of staff.
§ Sir A. Knox
Is the difficulty of increasing the number of inspectors a financial one, and, if so, could not our Red Cross make a contribution to the International Red Cross, because there are only four inspectors to look after about 3,000,000 prisoners?
53. Major Vyvyan Adams
asked the Secretary of State for War, whether he is aware that a prisoner of war deduction of £7 4s. per month is made from the allowances paid to the wives of officers who are prisoners in enemy hands; that this deduction causes financial embarrassment in certain cases; that the diet allowed to such prisoners of war is so bad that it cannot cost the enemy more 260 than the equivalent of a few shillings a month; and whether, since the Protecting Power cannot secure any amelioration, he will substantially reduce the deduction from the allowance paid to officers wives?
§ Mr. Law
My hon. and gallant Friend appears to be under a misapprehension. Allowances issuable in respect of the family of an officer prisoner of war are not subject to deduction, and, apart from Income Tax and National Health Insurance contributions, where these are payable, the only deduction made from his pay is in respect of pay issued to him by the German or Italian Government which varies according to his rank. No deduction is made in respect of food provided by these Governments.
Would not the money be better spent in this country by the dependants of these officers?