HC Deb 27 July 1943 vol 391 cc1378-9
40. Mr. Vernon Bartlett

asked the Secretary of State for War whether Sicilians are debarred from any contact with Italian refugee political organisations?

Sir J. Grigg

As the Prime Minister stated in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Keighley (Mr. I. Thomas) on 21st July, no political activities by the local inhabitants can be countenanced under the Allied Military Government established in Occupied Sicily.

Mr. Bartlett

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that nature abhors a vacuum in politics, and as these people have not been able to hear anything of democracy for 21 years, should not they be allowed to do so as soon as it is reasonably possible?

Sir J. Grigg

The part of the government of Sicily for which I am responsible is the military government, and the important considerations in a military government are military ones.

Mr. Bevan

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this political attitude of the administration in Sicily is taking a good deal of the glamour off our military victories?

Mr. Shinwell

Would the right hon. Gentleman explain why this association between the Sicilians and Italian political refugee organisations is going to conflict with the military government? Will he explain that?

Sir J. Grigg

Military requirements and whatever the Commander-in-Chief thinks necessary for military safeguards are paramount.

Several Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker

We cannot have a Debate on this question.