HC Deb 26 February 1917 vol 90 cc1671-3
27. Mr. KING

asked the Home Secretary if he will state the number of alien enemies with respect to whom internment orders were made between 11th December, 1916, and 14th February, 1917, excluding any cases of aliens brought into this country by sea; and how many clubs and restaurants belonging to alien enemies were closed in London between the same dates?


Between the dates mentioned about forty alien enemies, mainly aliens previously exempted from internment, were interned, and sixteen orders were made under Regulation 14B of the Defence of the Realm Regulations in respect of persons of hostile origin or association. The above number docs not include aliens brought to this country by sea. There is at present no power for any authority to close clubs or restaurants on the ground that they belong to or are conducted by alien enemies; but I understand that in consequence of internment orders made against the occupiers and frequenters of certain places of this kind which were the resort of enemy aliens or persons of hostile association, these places have either closed their doors or ceased to be used for the purpose mentioned. I am unable at the present moment to give particulars of such places. I hope that power will shortly be obtained to close restaurants kept by aliens.


Will the right hon. Gentleman say if Mr. Jacob Strumpf and Mr. Schumacher are included amongst those interned?


Yes; those persons are included.


Can the right hon. Gentleman give any explanation why they were not interned two and a half years ago?

36. Mr. BOYTON

asked the Home Secretary if he can state the reason for the release from internment of the following persons after only short periods of detention: Anton Dupré and Louis Perath-oven, Austrian alien enemies, and Andrew William Nuttgens, a German; if their employers, Messrs. Burns and Oates, Limited, entered into sureties of £100 each; if these men are still in their employ; and whether it is the intention of the Government to release other enemy aliens on similar terms, and thus provide unpatriotic firms with labour, whilst others are called upon to release men for the Army and as volunteers for National Service?


Dupré and Perathoven are wood carvers coining from that part of Austria which is known as Italia Irredenta and speaking the Romance language. They were released from internment in 1915 to resume their occupation, their employers entering into a bond for £100 in respect of each man. Nuttgens is a German stained-glass worker who was brought here as a child less than one year old, and speaks and understands no language but English. He was exempted from internment in 1915 on the recommendation of the Advisory Committee, without bond. No reason has ever been suggested for regarding any of these men as open to any suspicion, and they are all still in Messrs. Burns and Oates' employ.


May I ask why these men were originally interned, and why they were released if they were any danger to the public?


They were interned subject to consideration by the Committee for a short time, and released after the Committee found no reasons for their internment.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that these released enemy aliens are under military age, and that two of them are under the age of thirty?


Yes, I am aware of that; but if my hon. Friend has followed my answer, he will find that two of them are practically sympathisers with Italy and not Austria, and the third is here since he was an infant in arms and cannot even speak a word of German.