HC Deb 25 November 1942 vol 385 cc696-8
3. Lieutenant Butcher

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether officers and men of the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and the Merchant Service detained in North Africa have been released from custody?

Mr. Eden

Yes, Sir. So far as is known, all British personnel interned in French North Africa have now been released. Arrangements are being made for their early repatriation to this country.

5. Mr. John Dugdale

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has received any information as to the position of members of the International Brigade who have been interned in French North Africa?

7. Mr. Leslie

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has any information as to what is happening to ex-members of the International Brigade who were sent to North Africa?

8. Miss Rathbone

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether all persons in North Africa who had been imprisoned because of their opposition to Nazi domination have been liberated; whether all laws and decrees inspired by Nazi ideology have been abrogated; and whether the persons affected included Jewish people interned for racial reasons, international brigaders and Spaniards who fought in the Spanish civil war and are now imprisoned, interned or working in forced labour companies in North Africa?

9. Mr. Granville

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Fighting French and Spanish Republican prisoners in North Africa and Morocco have been released; and whether arrangements will be made for their future security by enabling them actively to serve the cause of the United Nations?

Mr. Eden

As the House is aware, North Africa is still a zone of military operations under the command of the United States Commander-in-Chief. His Majesty's Government have, of course, been in consultation with the United States Government on these matters. Hon. Members will have seen the statement recently made by President Roosevelt upon which I cannot comment at this juncture.

Mr. Granville

In view of the fact that we have a political representative there, will the right hon. Gentleman make representations that the Free French prisoners should be allowed to join General de Gaulle and not be left to the mercy of the Darlan Fascist régime; and will he see that these prisoners are referred to in terms of liberation and not of amnesty?

Mr. Eden

As I understand it, these French prisoners have almost all of them been released. In point of fact, one of the most distinguished generals—General Bethouard, I think it was—announced the other day, is Chief of Staff to General Giraud, so I do not really know what my hon. Friend means.

Mr. G. Strauss

Can the right hon. Gentleman say when he expects information that all these prisoners in the International Brigade and others have been released?

Mr. Eden

I cannot say, for the obvious reasons I have already explained.