Colonel Sandeman Allen
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he has negotiated more than one exchange of parcels or cables for our prisoners in the hands of the Japanese and what progress he has made in this direction.
§ Sir J. Grigg
Only one agreement for the exchange of telegrams between prisoners of war and internees in Japanese hands and their relatives has been negotiated and it is still in operation. Telegrams continue to be despatched and received under its provisions. Relief supplies are provided on a pool basis for British Commonwealth, American and Dutch prisoners of war and civilian internees in Japanese hands. British prisoners of war have accordingly participated in the supplies sent in on the ships employed for the British/Japanese diplomatic exchange and the first American/Japanese diplomatic exchange, both of which took place in the autumn of 1942, and also on the second American/Japanese diplomatic exchange which took place at Goa in October, 1943. They have also participated in the relief supplies lifted last November by a Japanese ship from Nakhodka (near Vladivostock). These supplies were subsequently distributed by the Japanese ships Hosi Maru and Awa Maru.
His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom, in conjunction with the Governments of the Dominions and India and the United States Government, are continuing their efforts to open a regular route of supplies to Allied prisoners in Japanese hands, but, as I have said previously, experience of the last 3½ years does not hold out much hope for the success of these efforts.