Hon. Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence):
Mr. Speaker, on Friday, the hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefenbaker) asked a question about the transfer of Kurt Meyer. The hon. member for Lake Centre said:
In so far as his incarceration is concerned, was he released or transferred under an order in council, and has there been any communication to the effect that he will now take his place in any army being formed1 in western Germany?
An order in council was passed on October 18, which I shall now table, authorizing the Minister of National Defence to commit a person convicted by a Canadian military court and sentenced to imprisonment for two years or more to a service prison, either in or beyond Canada. Pursuant to that order, and with the approval of the cabinet, I directed that Kurt Meyer be committed to Werl prison in Germany, which I designated as a Canadian service prison for that purpose. There has been no communication to the effect that Kurt Meyer will now take his place in any army being formed in, western Germany. It would be impossible for him to do so, as he is still serving the sentence of life imprisonment imposed upon him.
The hon. member for Eglinton (Mr. Fleming) asked this question:
Was any request received from any other government for such an order in council?
The answer is no; but I understand that some representations were made to the Department of External Affairs, which may be dealt with by my colleague the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson).
Then the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Cold well) asked:
Because of the importance of the matter, will the minister say whether he is still under the control and the jurisdiction of Canada or whether his incarceration has been transferred to the jurisdiction of another country?
The answer is that Meyer is still under the control and jurisdiction of Canada. The prison in which he is now incarcerated is under the control of the United Kingdom occupation authorities in Germany, but they have no power to interfere with his sentence.
The hon. member for Lake Centre said something about the secrecy connected with the transfer. So far as I know it is quite unusual to give advance publicity with respect to the transfer of prisoners, either civil or military.
Subtopic: COMMITMENT TO WERL PRISON, GERMANY