HC Deb 14 March 1944 vol 398 cc27-8
40. Mr. Driberg

asked the Secretary of State for War if satisfactory communication has now been established with all British prisoners of war known to have been transferred from Italy to Germany shortly before the fall of Mussolini; and if parcels are reaching them regularly.

Sir J. Grigg

The 2,400 British prisoners of war in Italian hands who, as I mentioned in my reply to several hon. Members on 21st September last, were transferred to Germany shortly before the fall of Mussolini, have all reached permanent camps and their relatives have been notified. Since both the prisoner-of-war letter and parcel mails between Great Britain and Germany are functioning normally, there is every reason to believe that these men, in common with other British prisoners of war in German hands, are receiving the correspondence and parcels sent to them by their relatives in this country.

Mr. Driberg

So far as the right hon. Gentleman knows, does the figure which he gave represent all the prisoners in, the category referred to in the Question?

Sir J. Grigg

The category was the comparatively small one of those who were transferred before the fall of Mussolini. To the best of my knowledge, that figure covers the whole lot.

Mr. Petherick

Are names of prisoners transferred to Germany still coming through?

Sir J. Grigg

Yes, I think so. The list certainly is not yet complete.

42. Captain Plugge

asked the Secretary of State for War, what steps are taken to alleviate the boredom in the Swiss camps of British prisoners of war.

Sir J. Grigg

Every effort is being made by the senior British officer, in consultation with the Swiss authorities, to meet the needs of British prisoners of war who have escaped into Switzerland, particularly by the provision of recreational facilities and by arrangements, where possible, for courses of study.

Mr. Wakefield

Will my right hon. Friend consider sending copies of HANSARD to these camps?

Mr. Gallacher

Will the Minister consider sending them copies of HANSARD, and letting them know how lucky they are?

Mr. MacLaren

Will he send out the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Sir P. Harris)?