HC Deb 12 June 1945 vol 411 cc1454-6
44. Colonel Viscount Suirdale

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will give an assurance that all Nazi major war criminals, such as Field-Marshal Goering, who are in Allied hands, are now imprisoned in ordinary prison cages or other prisons and not allowed the facility of house arrest; and whether he will arrange that no special facilities, such as the right to have special food provided for them, will be allowed.

Sir J. Griģģ

I understand that the answer I gave my Noble and gallant Friend on 5th June about such prisoners in British hands applies to those, such as Goering, held by the American forces.

Viscount Suirdale

Could my right hon. Friend elaborate that answer? Is Field-Marshal Goering in an ordinary prison cage and getting ordinary limited rations the same as other prisoners?

Sir J. Griģģ

I understand that the earlier answer applies. I cannot get myself into the position of having to explain in great detail and to defend the conduct of our Allies in other zones.

Commander Locker-Lampson

Where is Ribbentrop?

Lieut.-Colonel Sir Arthur Heneage

On a point of Order. To whom should questions be addressed about prisoners in Allied hands for which we are not responsible?

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

That is a difficult question for me to answer. I do not think it has been put before, but there is a general rule in the House that the House and Ministers do not go into the affairs of other countries. I would prefer not to say more than that on this point of Order at this time.

Mr. Shinwell

Is it your Ruling that matters concerning the war at large, the war in the Far East and the treatment of prisoners as a whole, are not matters for the consideration of hon. Members, whether the prisoners are in American, Russian or British hands? Is not the conduct of the war integrated?

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

That is a difficult point and I certainly would not lay down the position with regard to it. I do say, however, that there is a difference between those prisoners in our control and those who are in the control of another country.

Sir J. Griģģ

May I add to what you have said, Sir? Whenever hon. Members ask for information about events and happenings in an Allied zone under an integrated command, I try to get information for them, but I cannot possibly get myself into the position of defending the conduct or even explaining the conduct of the soldiers, forces and officials of another nation, whether Russian or American.

Mr. Gallaeher

Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us whether the high Nazi criminals are in cages, and do they get ordinary prison diets?

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

I think we have got rather beyond the question. The next Question in the name of the Prime Minister I think might be postponed until later.