§ Mr. HUME-WILLIAMS
asked the hon. Member for Sheffield (Central Division) whether it is the intention of the Government to make, if possible, arrangements with Turkey so that all prisoners, both British and Turkish, may in future be periodically visited by the representatives of a neutral Power; whether negotiations to that effect have yet been started; and whether there is any hope of effecting an exchange of wounded prisoners and when?
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
Ever since the internment of British prisoners of war in Turkey His Majesty's Government have been unceasing in their endeavours to obtain permission for the camps to be visited by representatives of the United States Embassy, but hitherto without success. Negotiations for the exchange of incapacitated prisoners are in progress, but it is not possible to state when they are likely to be concluded.
§ Mr. HUME-WILLIAMS
asked the hon. Member for Sheffield (Central Division) whether there is still an American Ambassador in Constantinople; when the last visit was paid to Turkish camps in which there are English, prisoners and by whom; how many of such camps are still unvisited; and what information, if any, he has as to their condition?
§ Mr. HOPE
The United States Ambassador is still at Constantinople, nor has there been, so far as His Majesty's Government are aware, any question up to the present of His Excellency leaving Turkey. The Turkish Government persist in their refusal to allow prisoners of war camps to be visited by representatives of the Embassy. Seven of the camps were, however, visited in November and December last by delegates of the International Red Cross Society—namely, those at Eski Shehir, Afion Kara Hissar, Ismidt, Broussa, Konia, Kir-shehir, and Yozgad, besides two hospitals at Constantinople and the Island of Prinkipo, where General Townshend is interned. The British prisoners at the camps visited numbered 182 European and 211 Indian officers, and 658 European and 417 Indian non-commissioned officers and men. From the information obtained through the Red Cross delegates it appears that although the condition of the officers is on the whole not unsatisfactory, that of the rank and file leaves much to be desired and gives cause for1128W much anxiety. There remained unvisited, fourteen camps and three hospitals, contaning, according to figures furnished by the Turkish authorities, 131 European officers and 1,086 European and 8,115 Indian non-commissioned officers and men. The information available respecting the camps unvisited is scanty and in general unsatisfactory, but has recently-been somewhat more reassuring, at least as regards the transmission of the relief in money and kind which is continuously being issued by the United States Embassy, and for which His Majesty's Government are profoundly grateful.
§ Mr. JOWETT
asked the hon. Member for Sheffield (Central Division) it he is aware of the prices that relatives of prisoners of war have to pay for goods sent on their behalf by the Central Prisoners of War-Committee; if he is aware of the following list of prices charged for the goods mentioned, before the end of January last, namely: 1 lb. Cambridge sausages, 3s.; 1 lb. duck and peas, 3s. 3d.; 1 lb. Wiltshire-bacon, 2s. 10d.; 1 lb. mixed biscuits. 2s. 5d.; half-pound best butter, 1s. 7d.; 4 ozs. best tea, 9d.; half-pound sugar, 3d.; half-pound tin of milk, 4d.; one tin of pears, 9½d.; quarter-pound best chocolate. is.—in all, 7 lbs. of food for 16s. 2½d.; and if he will make some different arrangement which will enable poor people to send' parcels of food to prisoners of war at their own expense?
§ Mr. HOPE
I am informed that the parcel to which my hon. Friend refers was an exceptional one, specially ordered for a particular prisoner, and consisted of high-class and expensive goods. The prices mentioned, so far as they relate to this particular parcel, are correct, with the exception of that of Cambridge sausages, which should have been given at Is. 6d. Standard parcels of food are forwarded three times a fortnight to all prisoners of war, military and civilian, at a cost of 6s. each, which prisoners' friends, who are able to do so, are expected to-defray. Particulars of such parcels can be obtained from the Central Prisoners of War Committee, 4, Thurloe Place., S.W.