HC Deb 28 November 1944 vol 404 c2390
31. Major McCallum

asked the Secretary of State for War whether adequate steps are being taken, through the Red Cross authorities, to supply to our prisoners of war in Germany, other than those in hospital, the essential requirements in vitamins which are lacking in the low diet afforded by the German Government, particularly now that the supply of Red Cross food parcels has had to be reduced to half a parcel per man per week.

Sir J. Grigg

The composition of the standard food parcels sent out by the British Red Cross Society and Order of St. John War Organisation was designed and is reviewed by experts in nutrition in relation to the rations issued by the Detaining Power. All practicable steps are being taken to restore the normal flow of Red Cross parcels and it is hoped that the full issue of parcels may be restored shortly. I am glad to say that my medical advisers inform me that the reduction in the issue of parcels is unlikely, unless unduly prolonged, to prejudice materially the health of the prisoners.

Major McCallum

Is it a fact that the parcels containing vitamin supplies go only to the men in hospital and not to men who are not in hospital and who for long years have suffered from lack of vitamins C and D?

Sir J. Grigg

Extra vitamins are included in the parcels for sick prisoners, but food sent to the ordinary prisoners contains a supply of vitamins in the normal way. The constitution or composition of the parcels is settled after consultation with nutrition experts.