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China (British Ex-Prisoners)

Volume 414: debated on Wednesday 17 October 1945

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that 621 civilian prisoners, mostly British, are still in the camp at Wienshien, in what was the Japanese-occupied Shantung Province of China; that it is eight weeks since the first American rescue teams parachuted into the camp; that the railway has been cut and there are not sufficient aeroplanes to fly them out; and what action he proposes to take to remove these people from this camp.

There were 1,400prisoners in the camp at Weihsien when it was freed. Those who wanted to go home were sent to Tsing Tao. Those who remained in the camp desired to return to their previous occupations in Northern China. It so far has been difficult to meet their wishes, not only because transport was not available, but because, in the present financial situation in China, they could not, I understand, maintain themselves in their homes. I am, however, calling for a further report.