asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he is aware that civilian ex-internees in Sumatra awaiting repatriation, had not received on 2nd October, any mail of any sort from Britain since their liberation, while men whose wives and relatives are in Australia have received cables, letters and even radio messages; and whether he is taking steps to remedy this.
I have been asked to reply. I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the reply which I gave on 16th October to a question by the hon. and gallant Member for Cambridge (Major Symonds) and of which I am sending him a copy.The arrangements described in that reply were applicable to Sumatra in the same way as to the South East Asia theatre generally. Although I have no definite information concerning Sumatra, it would appear probable that the military authorities in South East Asia Command have been unable, owing no doubt to the special features of the military situation, to effect delivery there as early as elsewhere. Meanwhile special arrangements are being made to enable civilian ex-internees who will remain in Sumatra to receive mail during the period before normal civilian postal services are open.