HC Deb 06 February 1941 vol 368 cc1056-7
21. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that certain Polish Jewish refugees fled to this country through fear or experience of Polish anti-semitic repression; and, in view of the fact that prominent anti-semitic Poles have attempted to continue their propaganda through publications in this country, he will ensure that no Polish Jewish refugee of military age who objects through racial fears to serve in any Polish military force in this country, shall be compelled to join, but shall at least be given the option of serving in our own or another force?

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Herbert Morrison):

The whole question of the procedure for the enforcement of conscription of Allied citizens by Allied Governments in this country is receiving urgent attention from the Departments of His Majesty's Government. As regards the position of Polish Jews in the Polish national forces, I would call the attention of my hon. Friend to the "Order of the Day" published by the Polish Prime Minister and Commander-in-Chief on 5th August last, which emphasises that all Polish citizens serving in the Polish forces are equal and that no discrimination will be tolerated on the grounds of race or religion.

Mr. Sorensen

Are there any specific instances of complaints on the matter mentioned in the Question, and, if there are, will my right hon. Friend personally investigate those complaints?

Mr. Morrison

If my hon. Friend will communicate with me, I will see what I can do, but he will appreciate that within a certain sphere the Allied Governments have statutory rights of their own which have been granted by the House.

Mr. Mander

Is it proposed to introduce shortly legislation on the compulsory calling-up of Allied subjects?