27 Mar 1943, W J Carrie's wartime diary | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

27 Mar 1943, W J Carrie's wartime diary

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Sat, 27 Mar 1943

Well I have had a busy week. We had a special meeting of the B.C.C. at 9.30 on Wed and then we all went up in a body to see Maiyima, the representative of the Jap Foreign Office. He was coldly polite and told us we had no right to anything more than all the other inhabitants of H.K. have. They recognise a duty to feed prisoners of war but not civilian internees. As Newbigging said to him - then all we have to do is to die of slow starvation. We gave him graphs of our rations, showing how they have never reached the proper standard for calories or proteins and how bad they are now. 12oz of Rice a day are of no value when only a few people can digest more than 8oz. One day our ration of "meat" for 24 hours was one duck's egg!  Dean Smith showed him a graph of the incidence of nutritional diseases, how they fell off when we got the Red Cross Supplies and then how they have started to rise rapidly again. Five people have gone completely blind and some 21 more are nearly blind and I am told that in all cases it is likely to be permanent.

I think we impressed him so there may be an improvement but he admitted they have no ships to bring beans from Tsingtau or Tientsin where there must be tons.

He brought with him our allowance for March so I was busy all Thursday paying out 18,061 Yen - 5,500 to the Police in one sum and the rest to individuals 25 Yen to each adult, 18.25 to children between 5 and 12 (all over 12) and 12.50 to each infant under 5 - quite a big job.

I have been feeling quite fit lately - sometimes I notice climbing stairs and so I was rather amazed when the other day when Mrs "Mike" Turner said I was doing too much, I looked tired. Well on Wednesday I didn't notice anything with my midday chow but in the evening it tasted as if it had been smothered in pepper. I looked at my tongue - pink and spruey! So now I had a blood count this morning and I am away back to what I was last October - this d----d anaemia Haemaglobin only 60% Red Corps Count 2,650,000. I haven't seen Smalley again - I will tomorrow. I saw him yesterday and he gave me a prescription for nicotinic acid. I still have a little Hepetex left and 1 ampoule of Pernaemon for injection, so I hope to get a boost up again soon and be able to carry on. I must take things a bit easier - but really I do very little that is tiring. I'm cross with myself for getting into this state again but it is very insidious - I never noticed it coming back again.

Churchill's speech last Sunday - that the war is going to last a long time yet - was interesting - I'm sure they will get us out of here soon.

So Cheero Darling.   B.