§ Sir J. Mellor
asked the Prime Minister whether he will define the allocation as between the Foreign Office and the Service Departments of responsibility for protecting the interests of British prisoners of war in enemy hands?
§ Mr. Eden
I have been asked to reply. The War Office has a general responsibility for the interests of British prisoners of war in enemy hands. In the discharge of that responsibility, my Department works in the closest co-operation with the other Service Departments, with the Foreign Office, through whom all representations to enemy Governments by the medium of the Protecting Powers are necessarily made, and also with other Government Departments and outside bodies who are concerned with the welfare of the British prisoners of war.
§ Sir E. Makins
asked the Secretary of State for War if he will state the amount of funds at present available to the Red Cross for their work in connection with prisoners of war; what staff is employed by them on this work; how many of this staff are voluntary and part-time workers, respectively; and whether arrangements can be made to place the entire staff engaged on this work on a paid basis?
§ Mr. Eden
I am informed that the war organisation of the British Red Cross Society and Order of St. John is receiving donations earmarked for their work in connection with prisoners of war at the rate of £150,000 per annum. The present total cost of this service is at the rate of £800,000 per annum. The organisation is at present in possession of sufficient funds1864W to meet the excess of expenditure over income, and anticipates an increased flow of earmarked donations. A staff of 1,085 is employed by them on this work, of whom 719 are voluntary and 366 paid. It is not possible to differentiate between wholetime and part-time workers so far as volunteers are concerned. As and when the services of voluntary workers are no longer available, they will be replaced by paid staff. The entire replacement of voluntary workers by paid staff is not considered either necessary or desirable.