15. Miss Ward
asked the Minister of Information whether it is with his authority that censorship of letters from prisoners of war has been imposed obliterating criticism of the British Red Cross Society?
§ Mr. Bracken
The existing instructions which were issued to the Censorship staff in June, 1941, prescribe that no passages in letters containing criticism of the British Red Cross Society should be deleted.
Has that instruction not been altered, because there have been some instances of letters from which passages have been deleted?
§ Mr. Bracken
I assure the hon. Lady that that instruction has not been altered in any way, and if it were altered without the knowledge of the House the central direction of the Postal Censorship, would, I think, be open to censure.
§ 57 and 58. Major-General Sir Alfred Knox
asked the Secretary of State for War (1) whether any reason was given by the German Government for demanding a veto on sending medicinal concentrated vitamins to individual prisoners of war;
(2) whether, in all cases where medicines and vitamins are dispatched to the medical officers of prisoner of war camps, a note is enclosed showing the individual for whom these parcels are meant?
§ The Financial Secretary to the War Office (Mr. Sandys)
As has been explained to my hon. and gallant Friend in a previous answer, the examination by the German censor of medicines enclosed in individually addressed comforts parcels was causing serious delay in the delivery of these parcels. The reason for this delay was explained by the German Government to the International Red Cross Committee, who advised the British Red Cross Society as a provisional measure to arrange for all medicines and vitamins to be addressed to the camp medical officers. Meanwhile the matter has been taken up with the German Government through the Protecting Power.
§ Sir A. Knox
Will my hon. Friend reply to the second Question, as to whether a note is enclosed showing the individual for whom the parcels are meant?
§ Mr. Sandys
A large number of these medicines are not intended for individuals, but those that are intended for individuals are supposed to be accompanied by a note stating who is the individual.