British Prisoners of War.

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance. – in the House of Commons on 17th March 1942.

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Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War what is the present position with regard to the transfer to Switzerland of prisoners of war who are suffering from tuberculosis?

Photo of Mr Douglas Clifton Brown Mr Douglas Clifton Brown , Hexham

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that certain of our prisoners suffering from tuberculosis in German camps had been promised to be removed to Switzerland for expert treatment; that this arrangement has now been cancelled; and whether he will again press through the Red Cross or otherwise for the transfer of our prisoners suffering from tuberculosis to Switzerland from German prison camps?

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Lambeth Norwood

I am not aware of the promise referred to by my hon. and gallant Friend. All British prisoners of war in Germany who are suffering from tuberculosis—with the exception of two, whose cases were the subject of a recent protest—have been sent to a special, hospital in the Saxon Alps, of which I have received favourable reports.

Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

Is my hon. Friend aware that I have seen a copy of a letter from the War Office, to the parents of a soldier who had been promised that he should go to Switzerland, saying that he could not go because the War Office had ceased to press the Germans to send him there? Why has the policy of the War Office been changed in this matter?

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Lambeth Norwood

I can explain this to my hon. Friend, but I do not think this is a matter which we should discuss in open Session.

Photo of Mr Frederick Bellenger Mr Frederick Bellenger , Bassetlaw

Was it not the case that these unfortunate individuals were sent to Switzerland, to their benefit, in the last war, and cannot we adopt the same policy now?

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Lambeth Norwood

All who are suffering from tuberculosis in a serious form are in fact eligible for repatriation.