HC Deb 25 November 1942 vol 385 cc741-2W
Sir G. Jeffreys

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has any further statement to make on the whereabouts of the prisoners taken in Malaya and Singapore and of the Government servants and other civilians captured at the same time, in view of the anxiety still felt by the friends and relatives of these persons?

Colonel Stanley

No, Sir. As regards prisoners of war I must refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the statement made by the Secretary of State for War on 10th November, to which I regret that I can add nothing. I fully sympathise with the friends and families of those who are held by the Japanese, but I am sorry to say that it has not yet been possible to obtain official information regarding the whereabouts of those members of the local forces and civilians who were captured in Malaya. The very scanty and unconfirmed reports so far received do not suggest that the treatment of British civilians is unduly harsh.

Mr. Stokes

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will seek the good offices of the Vatican in order to get a more comprehensive list of prisoners in Japanese hands?

Mr. Eden

Repeated representations to the Japanese Government have been, and are being, made on behalf of His Majesty's Government by the Swiss authorities and the International Red Cross Committee, both of whom are doing everything possible to induce the Japanese authorities to furnish full information. I am obliged to my hon. Friend for his suggestion but I doubt whether any advantage would be gained by approaching the Vatican in this manner.