HC Deb 06 August 1940 vol 363 cc10-4
12. Mr. Rhys Davies

asked the Secretary of State for War what steps are taken to acquaint the relatives in this country of the new address of refugees of Nazi oppression who have been sent overseas?

1 and 13. Mr. Wedgwood

asked the Secretary of State for War (1) whether he can give an undertaking that Jews and anti-Hitler aliens will not be sent to Canada without their wives, and that they will not again be shipped with Nazi internees and prisoners?

(2) Whether he will give an assurance that no more German anti-Nazi Jews will be deported in company with Nazis, as was the case on the "Arandora Star"?

23. Mr. G. Strauss

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he can make any further statement concerning the category of enemy aliens on the "Arandora Star"; and, in particular, whether these included refugees from Nazi oppression?

Mr. Eden

The interned enemy aliens on board the "Arandora Star" were Italian Fascists and Category A Germans. It was understood by my Department that none of these Germans were refugees, but I am making further inquiries on this point. There were no prisoners of war on board. I can give the House the assurance that it is not the intention to send abroad anti-Nazis in contact with Nazis, and it is hoped to arrange that any further Category B and Category C Germans who are sent abroad will be accompanied or followed by their families. Steps will be taken to inform relatives of addresses overseas as soon as they are known.

Mr. Rhys Davies

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind the terrible agony of parents, and especially of wives?

Mr. Eden

That is what I am trying to cover by the reference that I am trying to make.

Mr. Wedgwood

Are we to understand that there were no C Category Germans—anti-Nazi aliens—on the "Arandora Star"? How does the right hon. Gentleman account for the fact that some of these are known to have been saved? Did the War Office really not know who were on board that ship?

Mr. Eden

What I said was that these were all category A.

Mr. Wedgwood

Surely the right hon. Gentleman must know by now—he has the names of those who were saved—that they were not category A but categories B and C?

Mr. G. Strauss

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that some of the men on the "Arandora Star" were sentenced to terms of imprisonment by the Nazis and others beaten up by the Nazis, and that they were accepted into the country by the Czech Representative Committee?

Mr. Eden

I have gone into the question carefully, and that is the assurance that I was given. In view of what the right hon. and gallant Gentleman says, I will go into it again.

Sir H. Williams

Will the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that no category C Germans will be sent out of the country until there has been some oppor tunity to examine whether or not they should be released?

Miss Rathbone

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there were on hoard several very distinguished anti-Fascist Italians, of whom at least one was drowned?