23. Mr. Driberģ
asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that mail from home is not reaching those Italian prisoners in this country whose relatives are in Italian territory liberated by the Allies, such territory being no longer within the scope of the International Red Cross, although mail from home still reaches those prisoners whose relatives are in enemy territory; that this has a bad effect on the men's morale and, consequently, on their agricultural work; and if he will request the Allied Control Commission or the Badoglio Government to facilitate the transmission of such mail.
Sir J. Griģģ
The hon. Member's Question suggests that the Germans allow letters to be sent from Italy to prisoners in this country but that the Allies do not. The reverse is the case. Only a minority of the Italian prisoners in this country have their homes in the parts of Italy under Allied Control, but this minority 1239 has received 93,000 items of mail from their families in the last months and a further 85,000 items have just arrived in this country and are now being censored. Prisoners have received no mail from those parts of Italy in German occupation either through the Red Cross or any other channels, except, of course, mail which had left the country before the Germans took over.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that cases precisely as I have described, have occurred in certain camps?
Sir J. Griģģ
I have nothing whatever to add to the information given here, which is the exact contrary to what the hon. Gentleman asserts.