§ 50. Sir C. KINLOCH-COOKE
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the announcement made by the chairman at the Totnes County Sessions that, in the opinion of the magistrates present, Buckfast Abbey and grounds are of so large an extent that they are not suitable for an internment camp, nor are they properly fenced, and that a large number of men would be required to watch the premises; that it was undesirable that the abbey and grounds should be guarded locally, as they are within a few miles of the coast and close to a town doing Government work; that the Germans and Austrians resident at the abbey should be sent to an internment camp; and that the duty of watching alien enemies was not a local but a national one; and will he say what steps he proposes to take in the matter?
§ Sir G. CAVE
My attention has been called to a resolution passed by the justices of the Stanborough and Coleridge Petty Sessional Division sitting at Totnes, which is to the effect stated in the question. Those of the Buckfast Abbey monks who are alien enemies were exempted from internment on the recommendation of the Advisory Committee, but their movements are restricted to the abbey grounds and farm. At my predecessor's request a special inquiry into this matter was made last autumn by Sir Louis Dane and the hon. and gallant Member for Knutsford, 1847 who suggested that the abbey might be watched by some special constables. The chief constable of Devon accordingly applied to the magistrates for their assistance in procuring a few persons to act as special constables for this purpose, and I regret that the magistrates have declined to take the steps which they were asked to take in the public interest. I am asking the War Office whether they can provide a guard.
§ Sir G. CAVE
I think it is by someone representing the military authorities; the results have been quite satisfactory.