§ 5. Mr. Turton
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is now able to announce any change of policy affecting the rate of exchange of charitable contributions made by officers and other ranks prisoners of war.
§ Mr. Lawson
In so tar as these were contributed by United Kingdom prisoners of war, His Majesty's Government have decided to accept responsibility for the payment of funds collected by British Commonwealth prisoners of war in Germany for charitable or communal purposes. They will be converted into sterling at the preferential rate of exchange applicable to personal savings from pay or working pay, namely, 15 Reichsmarks to the£. His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom are unable to accept responsibility for contributions made to such funds by personnel from the Dominion Forces. They have informed all Dominion Governments and the Government of India of their decision; they have heard from His Majesty's Government in Australia and from the Government of India that they are willing to share the responsibility. Final answers have not yet been received from the other Dominion Governments concerned in these circumstances, I am taking steps to make payment in respect of funds where I am satisfied as to the amount, the purpose and the arrangements made for disposal. It will not, however, be possible at present to make any payment in respect of contributions to such funds from Dominion personnel other than members of the Australian Forces.
§ Mr. Turton
While I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his very generous reply, will he say whether these charities could make any application in order to get the balance of the money paid to them?