HC Deb 10 June 1941 vol 372 c57W
Mr. Kirkwood

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that Private Richard Bowman, No. 2985258, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, is a prisoner of war in Germany; that his mother, two brothers and sister were all killed in an air raid; that his father, who has to meet very heavy funeral expenses, wishes the son's allotment of 7s., formerly made to the mother, transferred to himself; and whether he will have this done without waiting for the actual signature from Germany which may be impossible to obtain?

Captain Margesson

While I have every sympathy with the soldier's father in this unfortunate case, I am afraid that I have no power to dispose of any part of his son's pay without the latter's consent. My hon. Friend will appreciate, that the regulation requiring the soldier's own authority for making such allotments was so framed in order to protect the soldier's own interests, and I do not think that the House would wish to see it altered. Arrangements have recently been made, however, for the transmission of letters to and from prisoners of war in Germany by air, and I hope that as a result of these arrangements there will be no undue delay in securing the soldier's consent to the transfer of the allotment. I am considering, in this particular case, what steps I can take to help expedite a reply from the soldier.

Lieut.-Colonel Macnamara

asked the Secretary of State for War if he can now say on what date the Red Cross are going to publish a balance sheet showing how the money subscribed for prisoners of war by private individuals, regimental associations, etc., has been expended?

Captain Margesson

I understand that the accounts of the War Organisation of the British Red Cross Society and Order of St. John for the first year of the war have been published and are available on application at the headquarters of the War Organisation. Further accounts will be published annually.