FAR EAST PRISONERS OF WAR – 7 November 2000
Dr Julian Lewis: In welcoming what the Minister [Dr Lewis Moonie] said, I note that he referred to the appalling conditions in which far east prisoners of war were held. Will he confirm for the record that many thousands of people did not come back because they were deliberately executed, including several members of the Fleet Air Arm who were killed after the war had ended? Will he also confirm for the record that, as the late Lord Cheshire VC explained, the Japanese would have murdered all remaining prisoners of war in their captivity, but that that was pre-empted by the dropping of atom bombs? Will he also consider a small group of members of the British services who were incarcerated in Nazi concentration camps? They have not been mentioned, but they underwent similar experiences and suffered similar privations.
[Dr Moonie: I recognise that other groups suffered. Today's announcement recognises the unique collective nature of what happened in the far east, as the hon. Gentleman's remarks graphically illustrate.]