HC Deb 14 June 1944 vol 400 cc1975-6
44. Mr. Graham White

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many men, women and children, respectively, were interned in Mauritius in 1940–41 because of attempting illegal entry into Palestine; how many have since died; how many have volunteered for service in the Pioneer Corps or in any other armed or, if women, auxiliary service of our own or Allied Forces; how many were accepted and released for such service and how many accepted but not so far released; how many have been released for civilian service or for reasons other than employment; and how many men, women and children remain interned.

Colonel Stanley

As the reply contains a number of figures, I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate a statement in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Earl Winterton

Is it not the case that these people are not interned, but are in a refugee camp, which is quite a different thing?

Colonel Stanley

Yes, Sir. They cannot leave it, though.

Following is the statement:

The Jewish refugees transferred to Mauritius in December, 1940, comprised 848 men, 635 women and 96 children. At the 30th September, 1943, the numbers were 729, 611 and 82 respectively. Up to the end of March last there were 93 deaths among the refugees. Two hundred and twenty-four men have volunteered for service with the Allied Forces; 149 have been accepted and of these 93 have left the Island and the remainder are awaiting passages. Sixty-four women have offered their services unconditionally to His Majesty's Government, and the question whether their services can be utilised in a women's force is at present under consideration having regard to their age, qualifications, etc. One refugee has been released for civil employment elsewhere and five have been released and left the Island for other reasons.