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Prisoners Of War, Far East

Volume 389: debated on Wednesday 19 May 1943

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36.

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he can now state the number of British and Allied prisoners of war released by the Japanese authorities to date; and also the approximate number still under detention?

Except for a few Chinese and Eurasian members of the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps, I am not aware that the Japanese have released any British, Dominion, Indian or Colonial troops. It is estimated that more than 108,000 of these troops are prisoners in Japanese hands. I regret that I have no figures of Allied troops who are prisoners of war.

Are negotiations going on now with a view to securing the release of as many British and Allied prisoners as possible?

I am not in a position to say that negotiations are going on at the moment, but I can assure my hon. Friend that every endeavour has been and will be made by the Government to achieve that object.