§ 5. Colonel Sir CHARLES SEELY
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what steps the Government are taking to expedite the carrying out of the agreement for the exchange of English and Turkish prisoners of war concluded at Berne in September last?
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE (Lord of the Treasury)
As I stated on June 24th, we have endeavoured to hasten the execution of this Agreement by making representations through the Netherlands Minister at Constantinople, the Spanish Ambassador at Vienna, and the British delegates at The Hague Conference. I should be extremely grateful if my hon. and gallant Friend could suggest to me in private anything more that could be done. I may add that the Agreement was concluded not in September, but on the 28th December.
70. Colonel Sir FREDERICK HALL
asked the hon. Member for Sheffield (Central Division) whether, considering the mortality amongst British and Indian prisoners of war in Turkey and the difficulty in securing delivery in Turkey of food and clothing for our prisoners there, the Government will take steps, through the proper channels, to urge upon the Ottoman Government to enter into negotiations without further delay for the general exchange of prisoners, if possible upon a man-for-man basis, but, if this be not possible, to ascertain on what conditions the Turkish Government would be willing to make the exchange, such exchange not to be in terms of the Berne Agreement only, but to be applicable to soldiers and sailors in addition to civilians, doctors, and invalids?
§ Mr. J. HOPE
I am afraid I can add nothing at present on the subject of a further agreement to the answer given on Monday by the Leader of the House to my Noble Friend the Member for Nottingham. With regard, however, to the terrible death-rate among our prisoners in Turkey, it must be borne in mind that the greater number of deaths occurred in the march up country from Kut, and, however deplorable the present position, the mortality has not continued on the same scale.
Sir F. HALL
May I ask whether this matter of the Turkish prisoners is under the control of one Department or whether it has to go through two or three Departments, and, if so, which?
Sir F. HALL
Is not that a means rather of delaying than of expediting the supplies to these prisoners of war?