HC Deb 30 November 1943 vol 395 cc242-3W
Mr. Hunter

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that there is much delay in the censorship of letters from Britain to prisoners of war in Germany; that letters to prisoners of war from relatives are held up in some instances as long as four weeks after date of posting in Britain, as shown by the British post-mark; that practically no Scottish letters were received during September in Oflag 1X/AH; and will he take steps to accelerate the censorship and despatch of letters which are eagerly awaited by prisoners of war from relatives?

Mr. Grimston

Letters from this country to prisoners of war in Germany are not normally held by the British Censorship, for which my right hon. Friend the Minister of Information is responsible, for more than 48 hours and most of them are released within 24 hours. No distinction is made between letters posted in Scotland and those posted in the rest of the country, and I was not aware that Scottish letters had failed to reach Oflag 1X/AH during September. All practicable steps are already taken to accelerate the censorship and despatch of letters for prisoners of war, and there is ample evidence that such delay as occurs in their delivery is due to the deterioration of the German censorship organisation. At the request of the War Office, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, has recently caused representations on this subject to be made through the Protecting Power. A reply to these representations is awaited.