§ 9. Mr. Keeling
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether any further proposal has been made to the Japanese Government for the despatch of relief supplies to prisoners of war and internees in the Far East.
§ Mr. Eden
Yes, Sir. On 8th May a proposal for the despatch of Red Cross relief supplies to the Far East by a western route was communicated by the Swiss Minister at Tokyo to the Japanese Government on behalf of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Government of India. The Japanese Government were asked to permit one freight steamer, manned by a neutral crew and operating under the auspices of the International Red Cross, to carry from an agreed port, to a port or ports on the perimeter of Japanese-controlled territory, foodstuffs and medicines for British, United States and Netherlands prisoners of war and civilian internees. It was suggested that on the return journey the ship could carry special supplies to interned Japanese nationals in Allied hands. The Japanese Government were asked to specify the port in the Far East to which this ship should proceed and the routes to be followed. A second ship would be placed at the disposal of the Japanese Government for the onward carriage, under safe-conduct, of the relief supplies delivered by the first ship, to those areas where prisoners of wax and civilian internees are held. No reply has yet been received from the Japanese Government to this proposal.