HC Deb 03 July 1918 vol 107 cc1737-8W

asked the Home Secretary whether, prior to the appointment of Lieutenant-Colonel Haines as the commandant of the Wakefield Internment Camp, any special facilities were granted to Mrs. Leverton Harris or to any other ladies to visit Baron von Plessen, Count Metternich, Baron Nettenbladt, or any other prisoners; if so, by whom were the permits granted, by whose authority, and what were the circumstances which induced the relaxation of the Regulations; whether he is aware that Lieutenant-Colonel Haines stated in his evidence at the court-martial upon Lieutenant Canning that someone in the Home Office wrote to him stating that Mrs. Leverton Harris, the wife of a Member of Parliament, had applied for permission to see Von Plessen alone and without the time being circumscribed; who it was who wrote the letter; and whether, in his defence, Lieutenant Canning stated that it was a fact, which had been reported to the War Office, that Von Plessen had been visited by Mrs. Leverton Harris, who had brought contraband to him, and that Metternich and Nettenbladt had also received visits without being authorised?


Before Colonel Haines's appointment as commandant, the question of visits to prisoners at Wakefield was dealt with by the War Office. I am informed by the War Office that no special facilities were given to Mrs. Leverton Harris or to any other lady, except that on one occasion a lady from America who could remain in this country only six weeks was allowed an extra visit. The facts as to Mrs. Leverton Harris's visit to Von Plessen were fully stated in an answer given by my right hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State on 26th June. As regards the last part of the question, I am informed by the War Office that Lieutenant Canning stated, in evidence, that Mrs. Leverton Harris's visits had been reported to the War Office, but did not say that Meternich and Nettenbladt had received visits which had not been authorised.

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