HC Deb 12 December 1944 vol 406 cc1055-6
The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Herbert Morrison)

I wish, with permission, to make a statement on the question of supplies for the Channel Islands. It is, of course, a recognised principle of international law that an Occupying Power is responsible for supplies to the civil population. Nevertheless, in view of the reports received as to the conditions in the Islands, His Majesty's Government have decided that it would be right to supplement the rations of the civil population of the Islands by sending supplies of medicines, soap, and food parcels on the basis of those supplied to prisoners of war. The German Government have now agreed to this procedure, and have granted a safe conduct to the ship which will convey these supplies to the Islands. Final arrangements for the departure of the ship have not yet been completed, but His Majesty's Government have every reason to believe that she will be ready to sail within the next few days.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

Can arrangements be made for the ship to take in mail and to bring mail out of the Islands?

Mr. Morrison

I am not sure that that can be arranged at this stage. We will do everything we can, but we thought that the urgent thing was to get food in.

Sir Ralph Glyn

Is a representative of the Red Cross accompanying this ship, to see what arrangements will be necessary in the future for medical stores?

Mr. Morrison

We will take note of that point, but, if the House will forgive me, I do not want to go too far into detail at the moment.

Mr. Frankel

Has my right hon. Friend any reason to think that the distribution of these stores will be satisfactory?

Mr. Morrison

We have reasonable cause to believe that that will be taken care of.