HC Deb 17 December 1941 vol 376 c1915
1. Mr. Mander

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs the present position with regard to the evacuation of Italian men, women and children left in British hands in Ethiopia and now concentrated at Addis Ababa; and whether arrangements have now been made for their removal in the near future from the country?

The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Richard Law)

The Italian Government have re-affirmed their intention to send four passenger ships for the repatriation of their nationals from Ethiopia, but the ships have not so far sailed. In the meantime the Italians in Ethiopia are being moved down the railway line towards the coast in readiness for embarkation.

Mr. Mander

Is it intended to place any time limit to this, and cannot the Italians be sent to some other part of the Empire outside Ethiopia?

Mr. Law

It is our intention to get them out of Ethiopia as quickly as possible, by one method or another.

Mr. Wedgwood

Are we paying for them, or are the Italian Government?

Mr. Law

The Italian Government have no longer any control.

Captain Strickland

Can we have an assurance that such Italians as are guilty of deeds of cruelty and oppression contrary to the customs of war will be detained in Abyssinia for the collection of evidence?

Mr. Law

I think that is another question.