HC Deb 05 December 1945 vol 416 c2312
30. Captain Francis Noel-Baker

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will state the respective numbers of Greek civilian and military internees held in British-controlled camps in Africa six months ago; how many of these still remain in Africa; and under what conditions they are now living.

Mr. Bevin

Six months ago there were 38 Greek civilian internees and about 4,000 military and naval internees in North Africa. The numbers are now 2 civilian and 1,683 military respectively. As regards the last part of the Question, I am informed that conditions in the internment camps in Eritrea and the Sudan are satisfactory, that accommodation is considerably better than the average for troops in the Middle East and that rations, amenities and medical treatment are all on a normal scale. Moreover, the camps have recently been visited by a representative of the International Red Cross.

Captain Noel-Baker

Can my right hon. Friend say who is responsible for holding these men in Africa at the present time, and can he give an assurance that, in so far as the responsibility rests with His Majesty's Government, instructions will be given to the responsible authorities to do everything they can to get these political prisoners back to Greece at the earliest possible moment?

Mr. Bevin

Yes, we are doing that; they are being transported as fast as possible, and as far as shipping is available through the Mediterranean. As soon as we can we will send them back to Greece.