asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can now make any statement regarding further exchanges of civilians with Japan.
Yes, Sir. His Majesty's Government have recently received a communication from the Swiss Government, in reply to their earlier inquiries, containing certain proposals of the Japanese Government for a further exchange of civilian internees up to a total of 1,600 persons on each side. These are being urgently examined in consultation with the other Governments of the British Commonwealth who are concerned in this matter and also with Allied national authorities.
Can my right hon. Friend give any information as to the basis on which this exchange is to proceed? Will it be by categories, or will regard be paid to those who have been interned for the greatest length of time?
I am rather doubtful whether it is in the interest of the internees themselves that I should go into any detail. Perhaps my hon. Friend will allow me to consider his question.