HC Deb 22 March 1944 vol 398 c827
3. Mr. Petherick

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that the Russian official Press announces that the Russian army have captured German soldiers who have been captured by the British Army and repatriated to Germany; and whether he can make a statement on the matter.

Mr. Eden

I have seen the statements published in "Pravda" to which my hon. Friend refers. The Germans who were sent back last year to Germany were repatriated in accordance with the provisions of the Prisoners of War Convention and the Sick and Wounded Convention of 1929. In the relevant article of the Sick and Wounded Convention it is provided that in addition to permanent medical personnel "soldiers specially trained to be employed, in case of necessity, as auxiliary nurses or stretcher bearers for the collection, transport and treatment of the wounded and sick, and furnished with a proof of identity, shall enjoy the same treatment as the permanent medical personnel, if they are taken prisoners while carrying out these functions." The view of His Majesty's Government is that if at the time of their capture by the Red Army any of these persons was employed on combatant duties, this is inconsistent with the whole purpose of the Sick and Wounded Convention and constitutes a serious abuse of its provisions by Germany, and we have accordingly asked the Soviet Government to supply us with full particulars.

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