HC Deb 22 February 1945 vol 408 cc945-6
34. Captain Gammans

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is in a position to make any further statement on conditions in the Channel Islands.

Mr. H. Morrison

Information has now been received about conditions in the Channel Islands from the delegates of the International Red Cross Committee who visited the Islands on the first voyage of the "Vega" at the end of December, and conferred with the German military authorities and the local British civil authorities. This information is being carefully studied with a view to seeing whether any further steps can be taken to alleviate the hardships suffered by our unhappy fellow subjects, as a result of the German occupation. The "Vega" arrived in the Islands on her second voyage on 6th February with a further cargo of food supplies from the British Red Cross, a substantial quantity of medical and surgical supplies, supplied as a free gift by Messrs. Boots, salt, and other miscellaneous supplies. These should meet the most pressing needs of the civil population, with the exception of flour and coal. A consignment of flour is being despatched on the next voyage of the ship which should begin shortly. The questions of the despatch of coal, and of Red Cross postal messages, and the evacuation of those civilians in need of special medical attention, which cannot be provided in the Islands are being urgently pursued, but I am not yet in a position to make a statement.

Captain Gammans

Can my right hon. Friend say if there is any evidence that people in the Channel Islands are getting these supplies, and that they are not being taken by the Germans?

Mr. Morrison

I am afraid I cannot give any detailed information about that.

Mr. Thorne

Has my right hon. Friend hoard anything about conditions in the Channel Islands? Is there any intention of clearing out the Germans?

Mr. Morrison

It is really no use my hon. Friend asking me questions of that kind. Obviously, that is a matter for a Service Minister.

Lieut.-Commander Joynson-Hicks

Can the right hon. Gentleman say if there has been a distribution in the Island of Sark, as well as in the larger Islands?

Mr. Morrison

We are doing our best to see that all the Channel Islanders get their share, but naturally the distribution varies from place to place.