HC Deb 26 July 1944 vol 402 cc741-2
5. Captain Gammans

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he has considered the pronouncement by the German Government that, in an official handbook of modern irregular warfare, British soldiers are ordered to gouge out the eyes of helpless enemies and to commit other similar atrocities; and what steps he is taking to counteract this propaganda.

Mr. Eden

Yes, Sir. I am aware of the statement which my hon. and gallant Friend has in mind. Such distorted and unfounded propaganda only discredits those who stoop to use it. British troops are, of course, ordered to conduct themselves, in all their operations and in their treatment of enemy prisoners of war, in accordance with the provisions of the relevant international Conventions. Hon. Members will have noted that this monstrous allegation was made in a German radio broadcast designed to confuse the clear issue of the murder of British prisoners of war who had escaped from German camps.

Mr. Cocks

Is there any basis at all for this allegation? My right hon Friend has used the word "distorted." If there is no basis for the allegation, will the Government issue a public statement to that effect?

Mr. Eden

I not only used the word "distorted "; I also used the word "unfounded."