HC Deb 29 November 1916 vol 88 cc373-4W

asked the Treasurer of the Household when the arrangement with Germany for the mutual repatriation of prisoners interned in Switzerland was concluded; whether there is any limit as to the number of men who can be repatriated if they are certified unfit for military service in the future; and whether the arrangement prescribes any and, if so, what age limit which a prisoner must have reached before he is repatriated?


We have not yet received a reply from the German Government to our proposal, but we understand, from information received from Berne, that they are prepared to accept it. There is no limit; to the number of men who may benefit by the proposed agreement, but the number will not be considerable. There is no age limit.


asked the Treasurer of the Household what arrangements have been made for the repatriation of English prisoners now in Switzerland; who is to choose those who are to be repatriated; whether the scheme includes officers; what number of men it is hoped to repatriate; and when the first lot will leave?


We have proposed to the German Government that British and German officers and men who have been transferred to Switzerland shall be repatriated if their infirmities develop in Switzerland to such an extent as to bring them within the scope of the schedule which governs the repatriation of British and German combatant prisoners of war from Germany and this country respectively. It is proposed that suitable cases should be selected by the Swiss medical authorities for recommendation through the delegates in charge of prisoners to the British and German War Offices, with whom the final decision is to rest. I regret that I cannot at present answer the last two parts of the question, but from the nature of the proposed agreement it is improbable that the number of men repatriated will be considerable.