HC Deb 21 March 1918 vol 104 cc1223-4W
Colonel Sir R. BAKER

asked the hon. Member for Sheffield (Central Division) what allowance is made to British prisoners of war in Turkish hands, officers and men; whether he has received any complaints that the allowances are insufficient to provide sufficient food, needed beyond their rations, when given by the Turks to these prisoners; and, if so, if the Government will consider giving a larger allowance, especially in view of the high price of all foodstuffs in Turkey?


I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the oral answer which I gave on this subject to my hon. Friend the Member for Bodmin on the 18th, of which I will send him a copy.


asked the hon. Member for Sheffield (Central Division) whether he is aware of the condition of Havelberg Camp, in Germany, to which English civilians captured at Riga have been sent; and whether steps are being taken to arrange for the exchange under the existing agreement of newly captured English prisoners in Russia above the age of forty-five?


The conditions at Havelberg Camp are most unsatisfactory, and are engaging the serious attention of His Majesty's Government, who may be forced to take drastic action thereon, unless these conditions are materially improved. I regret that it was not found possible to include in the Hague Agreement a provision for the repatriation of civilians captured after 2nd January, 1917.


asked the hon. Member for Sheffield (Central Division) if he can state the regulations for visiting English prisoners at Ruhleben and German prisoners at the Isle of Man respectively?


I am informed that British civilians interned at Ruhleben are permitted to receive visits from their mothers and wives once in every four weeks, the duration of each visit being limited to two hours. In regard to the regulations respecting visits to German prisoners in the Isle of Man, I am informed that relatives and friends from the mainland can visit the island every three months, and during their stay there are allowed to pay three visits of half an hour each. Relatives and friends residing in the island are allowed to pay one visit of half an hour's duration every fortnight.


asked the hon. Member for Sheffield (Central Division) how many English civilian prisoners are interned in Austria; and whether any efforts are being made to negotiate an exchange?


According to our latest returns there are 113 British civilian prisoners interned in Austria and thirty-one interned in Hungary. In addition to these there are 121 British civilians in Austria who, though not actually interned, are confined to the localities in which they reside. In regard to the last part of the question, civilian prisoners in Austria over the age of fifty-one and those over the age of forty-five who are unfit for military service are eligible for repatriation, and it is hoped shortly to start transfers under this agreement. In the meantime we are pressing the Austrian Government to repatriate the most deserving cases at once.

Colonel THORNE

asked the Undersecretary of State for War whether he has any record of the number of British prisoners of war in Turkey; and if he has received any information about the inhuman treatment of our prisoners of war in Turkey?


In regard to the first part of the question, I would refer the hon. Member to my reply on Monday last to a question by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Dorset. In regard to the last part, I would refer him to my reply yesterday to a question by my hon. Friend the Member for Wirral.