HC Deb 17 October 1916 vol 86 cc413-4W

asked the Home Secretary whether he has received complaints of the unhealthy and insanitary condition of the Knockaloe Camp, Isle of Man, and of the Alexandra Palace Internment Camp, and whether, in view of the approaching winter, he will see that the huts are weather-tight, that the drinking water is filtered, that the sanitary and sleeping arrangements are adequate, and that food may be sold to those who can buy it at cost price?


The Alexandra Palace Camp is under the control of the War Office and not of my Department. Knock-aloe Camp receives the constant attention of the Insular Authorities and of the Destitute Aliens Committee on behalf of the Home Office. The sanitary arrangements have recently been the subject of special investigation; a new system of drainage is under construction, and its completion is being expedited. Steps are being taken to ensure that the huts will be proof against the winter weather when it comes. The supply of drinking water is excellent and is the same as that used by the officers and by the town of Peel. The health records are very good. Food is sold in the canteen at low prices, and any profits derived from the sale are handed over by the camp authorities to prisoners' committees and devoted to the general welfare of the prisoners.


asked the Home Secretary if he is aware of the continued complaints into the treatment of the Irish prisoners at Frongoch Camp; if he will say why the recent inspection of internment camps by officials of the American Embassy did not include Frongoch Internment Camp; and if he will allow the chief sanitary authority of Ireland, Sir Charles Cameron, and his assistant, Dr. Matthew Russell, to inspect and report on the treatment and general surroundings of the Irish prisoners at Frongoch Camp?


As I informed the hon. Member on the 12th instant, this camp has been inspected three times. Two of these inspections were made in July and August by a representative of the Home Office, and the third was made in August by a specialist sanitary officer of the R.A.M.C. All the reports were favourable. When the camp was occupied by German prisoners it was inspected by the American Embassy, whose report was entirely favourable. As I pointed out, in answer to a question by the hon. Member on 11th July, the American Embassy are not charged with the interests of prisoners other than those of enemy nationality, and I see no reason for inviting them or any other authority to carry out an inspection of the camp. I would add that, as the War Office wish to use the South Camp at Frongoch for another purpose, all the Sinn Fein prisoners are about to be moved to the North Camp, which I understand they themselves regard as preferable.