HC Deb 08 December 1942 vol 385 cc1430-1
36. Mr. Stokes

asked the Prime Minister whether the Dominion of Canada was consulted before the decision was taken to manacle prisoners?

The Prime Minister (Mr. Churchill)

On account of urgency it was not possible to consult any of the Dominion Governments upon the counter-measures to the German shacklings which were deemed necessary in October by His Majesty's Government. I may add that I hope before we rise for Christmas to be able to make a statement to the House on the whole subject. In the meanwhile no interest would be served by discussion.

Mr. Stokes

Is it a fact that the Minister of Defence took this step without consulting the War Cabinet?

Mr. Granville

Have Dominion Governments been consulted since the decision on this question?

The Prime Minister

Of course, the Cabinet were fully consulted beforehand. Full representations were tendered to the Dominions by His Majesty's Government and were accepted in that fullest spirit of loyalty that marks all our relations.

Major-General Sir Alfred Knox

Can the Prime Minister say on what date he will make that statement?

The Prime Minister

I cannot be absolutely certain, but it will be one day during the next series of Sittings.

Miss Ward

Will there be an opportunity of talking about the statement when it is made, because I think that is frightfully important?

The Prime Minister

I cannot say whether there will be any opportunity of talking about it or whether any opportunity will be generally desired by the House, but the Adjournment for the Recess comes very shortly after the statement, and that, no doubt, will give an opportunity of ventilating any matters which have hitherto been suppressed.

Miss Ward

If the House does desire to debate it, will the right hon. Gentleman arrange it?