HC Deb 27 February 1946 vol 419 cc1904-5
27. Colonel Crosthwaite-Eyre

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air in how many cases at German prisoner-of-war camps for R.A.F. officers, moneys paid under the Geneva Convention to officers were administered as a communal fund; whether the accounts for these funds are held by his Department; and whether it is intended to refund to the officers concerned all sums allocated by the communal fund, either to alleviate conditions in other rank R.A.F. prisoner-of-war camps in Germany, or in settlement of barrack damages caused by escapist activities.

Mr. Strachey

Moneys paid under the Geneva Convention were administered as communal funds at three German prisoner-of-war camps for Royal Air Force officers, namely, Stalag Luft I, Stalag Luft III and Stalag Luft VI. All these funds were, however, eventually absorbed into the Stalag Luft III fund. The accounts of this fund are held in my Department. The point raised in the last part of the Question is still under consideration.

Colonel Crosthwaite-Eyre

Can the Minister state when consideration of this matter will give place to action; particularly as in the case of Stalag Luft III escapist activities were on a large scale, and the dependants of those officers murdered by the Germans as a result of escapist activities could well do with the payment of these moneys now?

Mr. Strachey

I feel great sympathy with the hon. and gallant Gentleman's view on that matter, but again it is not a matter solely for my Department, as he well knows.