§ 1. Mr. G. Strauss
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can now say whether the members of the International Brigade interned in North Africa have been released?
§ 14. Mr. Riley
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has yet any information as to the number of anti-Axis prisoners in North Africa who have been released under Admiral Darlan's régime; whether the prisoners released include persons who fought in Spain on the Republican side against General Franco; and the approximate number who have now been released?
§ The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Eden)
As my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State stated in reply to the hon. Member for Eye (Mr. Granville) and the hon. Member for West Leyton (Mr. Sorensen) yesterday, I still have no complete information on the position of refugees and internees in North Africa other than British subjects. According to my information, however, French nationals who were interned for having aided the arrival of Allied Forces in North Africa have been released; and I can assure the House that the Allied Commander-in-Chief is following closely the measures for the release of all persons detained on account of their sympathies to the Allies. The House may also like 1892 to know that, as regards French West Africa, the Governor General has given instructions for the immediate release and return to British Colonies of all British and United Nations internees. His Majesty's Government for their part are making arrangements for the release of French internees in British West African territories.
§ Mr. Strauss
In view of the fact that the International Brigade and others were the first to fight Fascism in Europe and that many of them were volunteers, and in view of the very serious times they have gone through and the very bad treatment they have also had, will the right hon. Gentleman do his very best to get these men released as soon as possible, and meanwhile see that they are being properly treated?
§ Mr. Shinwell
Can we be assured that no solicitude for General Franco will cause these men to be sent back to Spain?
In view of the fact that it is now several weeks since President Roosevelt made his request to the authorities in North Africa to do something about releasing refugees, is it not about time that this request should have been considered?
§ Mr. John Dugdale
Can we have a definite guarantee from the right hon. Gentleman that on no account will they be sent back to Spain?