HC Deb 07 August 1941 vol 373 cc2074-5
17. Mr. Silverman

asked the Home Secretary whether, when agreement was reached with the Dominions of Canada and Australia to receive deported aliens, the Dominions were assured that they would be asked to accept only dangerous enemy aliens; whether, as in fact the great majority of those deported were refugees from Nazi or Fascist oppression, he has authorised the release of many such on these grounds; and whether, as agreement was reached on the basis of mistaken facts, he will endeavour to negotiate a new agreement more in accord with the true facts?

Mr. H. Morrison

My hon. Friend is under a misapprehension. The circumstances in which His Majesty's Government sent to Canada and Australia internees who could not be classed as dangerous enemy aliens were explained to the Governments of these Dominions a year ago. The categories of eligibility for release from internment apply to internees sent to Australia and Canada in like manner as they apply to internees in this country. As regards the numbers whose release I have authorised I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave to a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for West Leyton (Mr. Sorensen) on 31st July.

Mr. Silverman

Does not my right hon. Friend recall that he himself has repeatedly stated in the House that the Australian Government were assured that the deportees sent there would be dangerous enemy aliens and those alone?

Mr. Morrison

I do not recall that, but if my hon. Friend says I have said it, I accept his word for it. In any case, that has nothing to do with the point, because the facts are as stated in my Answer.

Mr. Silverman

If, in fact, it is the case that my right hon. Friend has said so, we must assume, I suppose, that it is a fact; and if it is a fact, is it not also true —

Mr. Speaker rose

Mr. Silverman

On a point of Order. If I am not to be allowed to put my Supplementary Question, I beg to give notice that owing to the unsatisfactory nature of the Reply I will raise the matter on the Adjournment.

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Gentleman was not putting a proper Supplementary Question; he was raising an argument.

Mr. Silverman

I was putting a perfectly proper Supplementary Question.