HC Deb 22 February 1949 vol 461 cc248-9W
31. Mr. Touche

asked the Secretary of State for War whether the Imperial War Graves Commission is looking after the graves of British civilians who died at the Stanley Internment Camp. Hong Kong.

Mr. Shinwell

The Commission's powers in relation to civilian war dead are confined, under their Supplemental Charter of 7th February, 1941, to the compilation of records. The question of the future maintenance of the graves of civilian internees in this cemetery is under consideration by the Hong Kong Government. The Commission are responsible for the maintenance of a large number of war graves of members of the Fighting Forces buried in the cemetery, and they will be consulted on the possibility of a joint scheme of maintenance of the cemetery as a whole.

32. Mr. Teeling

asked the Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been called to frequent complaints about the condition of graves in Gradara British Cemetery, Italy; and whether, as promised, the headstone beams have now been laid, a start made on the erection of headstones and grassing and headstone borders completed.

Mr. Shinwell

In 1947 it was found necessary to relay the drainage and readjust the levels of the terraces on which this cemetery is sited. In order that the sloping banks from these terraces should become consolidated, they had to be left undisturbed for about a year; during this time some untidiness was unavoidable. The many technical difficulties arising from the site of this cemetery have now been overcome, and the construction of headstone beams should commence in May. The borders will be completed as soon as the beams are finished, but grassing and planting of roses must wait until October. The final construction of the cemetery and the erection of headstones should begin in September. There are over 1,100 graves in the cemetery. The Commission have received complaints from only one person, to whom a full explanation has been sent.