HL Deb 11 July 1916 vol 22 cc608-9

LORD BERESFORD had the following Question on the Paper—

To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have since the commencement of the war sent any sum of money to be spent on the British prisoners in Germany; if so, whether the amount can be stated, and to whom was it sent.

The noble and gallant Lord said: My Lords, I had intended, in raising this matter, to bring forward some more cases of atrocities and barbarities committed by the Germans on British prisoners. But as there is an important debate coming on this evening, I will merely ask the noble Lord to answer the Question on the Paper.


My Lords, since the commencement of the war His Majesty's Government have placed at the disposal of the American Ambassador at Berlin the sum of £107,835 for the use and relief both of the British military and civilian prisoners in Germany. Of this amount £20,000 was furnished in connection with the working of the scheme for the inspection of the military camps in Germany by members of the American Embassy, and a further sum of £1,000 was sent to the Prisoners of War Help Committee in September last for the purchase of clothing for civilians interned at Ruhleben. The balance of the sum which I have quoted, which amounts to between £80,000 and £90,000, has been expended partly in payment of relief to interned civilians at Ruhleben and to their wives and families in certain circumstances, and in meeting the expenses of repatriating them. I might also say that this sum has been expended not only in connection with the civilians interned at Ruhleben, but also on behalf of such British civilians as have not been interned and are still living in Germany. I should like to point out that, wherever it is possible, repayment of these sums will be obtained upon the conclusion of the war from the persons to whom the assistance has been afforded.