§ Sir A. Knox
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he has recent information of irregularity in the arrival of letters from prisoners of war in Italy; and whether he can give details of the food provided for prisoners in Italian camps?
§ Mr. A. Henderson
There has recently been some irregularity in the arrival of letters from prisoners of war in Italy. The position is being closely watched and appropriate action will be taken if necessary as a result of inquiries being made. I append a weekly scale of foodstuffs which appears to be typical for camps in which other ranks are detained. Officers buy their own food, but are limited on rationed foods to the civilian ration.
Following is the scale:
Bread … over 3 lb. Meat … over ½ lb. Fats … … ⅕ lb. Cheese … … ⅗ lb. Macaroni or rice … over 1 lb. Sugar … under ¼ lb. Coffee (substitute) … under 2 OZ. Tomato puree … under ¼ lb. Haricot beans or peas … under ½ lb.
One lira a day is allowed for the purchase of vegetables or fruit to supplement the ration.
§ Mr. Stokes
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he proposes to take to furnish all British prisoners of war with adequate cash; and why the German proposal to provide them with pay in German currency at rates corresponding to similar ranks in the German army was rejected?
§ Sir K. Wood
I understand general responsibility for the conditions of prisoners of war is not within my province, but the matter is generally under consideration by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War. So far as the possibility of remittances from this country is concerned, I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Hastings (Mr. Hely-Hutchinson) on the 30th January, 1941. I am not aware that the German authorities have made the proposal referred to.