HC Deb 24 July 1941 vol 373 cc1037-9
31. Sir W. Davison

asked the Home Secretary how many letters he has received from persons interned in the Isle of Man, under Regulation 18b, whose detention has recently been cancelled, requesting that their internment in that island should not be terminated during the summer, and expressing appreciation of the conditions and of the kindly treatment they had received?

Mr. H. Morrison

I have seen one such letter, and I am sure that the conditions of treatment in the Isle of Man camps are appreciated by many of them who are detained there.

Sir W. Davison

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that some hon. Members have received letters from foreigners interned in the Isle of Man asking that the British Government should be thanked for the wonderful free holiday they have been given?

Mr. Morrison

I gather that one or two such communications have been received, but there are others of an opposite character.

Miss Eleanor Rathbone

While the internees fully appreciate the admirable conditions under which they are living, is it not the case that they would rather be out of internment, meeting the dangers which face the country, than be interned under the very best conditions?

Mr. Morrison

Generally speaking, that is so.

42. Mr. Edmund Harvey

asked the Home Secretary what is the total number of internees deported from Great Britain to Australia; how many of these were boys and youths between 16 and 19 years of age; how many have since been recommended for release; and how many of these have, in fact, been released from internment?

Mr. Morrison

The number sent to Australia was 2,542. As no statistics dividing these people into age groups are available, I regret I cannot give the particulars asked for in the second part of the Question. The policy is to bring back to this country both those whose prospective release can be definitely authorised on the information already available, and others who appear likely to qualify for release subject to further examination after their arrival here. There is also a number of persons whose prospective release has been authorised with a view to their emigration to other countries. The total number whose future release has been definitely authorised is 480 of whom over 300 are prospective emigrants to other countries. There are on their way back to this country about 200 persons of whom 66 have been definitely promised release, and the remainder are returning with a view to consideration of their release.

Mr. Harvey

Will my right hon. Friend give special consideration to the schoolboys and young fellows under 19 years of age, and particularly to those who are still at school?

Mr. Morrison

They must, of course, be considered in relation to security, and obviously from that point of view they would probably stand a better chance. I will keep the point in mind.

43. Mr. Harvey

asked the Home Secretary whether he has been in communication with His Majesty's Government in Australia with a view to obtaining their consent to the release in Australia of those internees who have been deported to Australia from Great Britain and since recommended as suitable for release from internment, but for whose return to this country no shipping facilities are available?

Mr. Morrison

No, Sir. These internees were accepted by the Australian Government on the specific understanding that those whose release might be authorised would be removed from Australia. Any exception to this principle is a matter entirely within the discretion of the Australian Government.