HC Deb 23 November 1943 vol 393 cc1427-8
32. Mr. Mander

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether in view of the decision of the Moscow Conference that the annexation of Austria by Germany on 15th March, 1938, is null and void, it is now proposed to treat those at present in this country who were citizens of Austria before that date as Austrians and not German subjects?

The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Peake)

As my right hon. Friend has explained on previous occasions, it makes no difference to the treatment or status of an alien in this country if his nationality is described as Austrian instead of German. His treatment depends upon whether or not he is whole-heartedly sympathetic with the allied cause and willing to assist our war effort. If he is, he can obtain exemption from the special restrictions applicable to aliens of enemy nationality.

Mr. Mander

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that these Austrians feel deeply humiliated at being wrongly described as Germans? In the light of the Moscow Conference and what was decided there, will he give the matter further cosideration?

Mr Peake

The hon. Member's Question was read as dealing with the treatment of these people. As I have explained, it makes no difference whether they are described as Germans or Austrians. But as regards registration with the police, I will take note of the hon. Member's point.