HC Deb 05 August 1943 vol 391 cc2483-4W
Sir J. Mellor

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to what extent Germany and Italy have fulfilled their obligations generally in respect of British prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions; what explanations have been received through the Protecting Power in respect of the more important departures from those obligations; and what countermeasures have been adopted by the British Government in their treatment of enemy prisoners of war, with a view to securing full compliance with the Conventions?

Mr. Law

His Majesty's Government are regularly notified by the Swiss Government (whose representatives pay periodical visit's to the prisoners' camps) of any failures by the German and Italian Governments to fulfil their obligations towards British prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions. His Majesty's Government request the Swiss Government' in each case to make formal representations and to take the appropriate steps to remedy any causes of complaint. It would, I fear, be impossible even to summarise the mass of correspondence on this subject, but the hon. Member may rest assured that no case is allowed to pass without representations being made in order to obtain redress. His Majesty's Government have not as yet found it necessary to adopt any counter-measures, with the single exception of the shackling of German prisoners as a reprisal for the shackling of our prisoners in German hands.