asked the Secretary of State for War how many ships are now engaged in carrying prisoner of war parcels from Lisbon to Marseilles; and what arrangements are being made for additional tonnage to clear the accumulation at Lisbon, owing to the accident which occurred to the steamship "Vega" on 26th December?
Hitherto there have been three ships engaged in carrying Red Cross parcels from Lisbon to Marseilles. One of these, the "Vega," is temporarily disabled, but it is hoped that this vessel will again be available in two or three weeks' time. In order to clear the accumulation of parcels at Lisbon, the British Red Cross Society have chartered two additional ships.
Were not these arrangements in train last Tuesday, when the Secretary of State for War made a very misleading statement al to the position regarding parcels? What was the reason which led the Red Cross two days later to issue an official statement contradicting the statement by the Secretary of State for War?
How was it that the situation in
It is not for the Government to concern themselves with the internal staff arrangements of an independent voluntary body. There is no reason to suppose that the organisation will be detrimentally affected by the change that has been made.
Does my hon. Friend say that the relations between the Red Cross and the Government are so close when an important person who gave his services without pay to the Red Cross has to leave because he does not agree with the policy? Surely the Government ought to have something to say in the matter?