HC Deb 28 June 1944 vol 401 cc715-6
42. Major Sir Jocelyn Lucas

asked the Secretary of State for War what steps he has taken to arrest Colonel Rocke who has been broadcasting in Italy during the war.

43. Mr. Driberg

asked the Secretary of State for War what action is being taken in respect of Lieut.-Colonel C. Rocke, formerly of the British Embassy in Rome, who broadcast propaganda for the Italian Fascist Government during the present war and has now established contact with British Forces in Italy.

The Financial Secretary to the War Office (Mr. Arthur Henderson)

I would refer my hon. Friends to the answer given by my right hon. Friend to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for South Cardiff (Colonel Sir A. Evans) yesterday.

Sir J. Lucas

In view of the fact that the colonel stated recently that he hoped he had been able to be of some help to us during the war, could the hon. and learned Gentleman say whether, in fact, he has been working for us?

Mr. Henderson

I have no information.

Mr. Driberg

Would it not be perfectly easy to check the record of this colonel, and what he broadcast for Mussolini, with the B.B.C. monitoring service?

Mr. Henderson

No doubt that and other relevant matters will be considered when the time comes to take a decision.

Mr. Driberg

Has not the time come to take a decision that people Like this man and William Joyce are traitors?

Mr. Henderson

The hon. Gentleman will appreciate that in this country it is customary to collect all the evidence together, before a person is dealt with under the penal law.

Mr. Bellenger

Did not my hon. and learned Friend collect the evidence when the War Office decided to withhold this officer's retired pay in 1940?

Mr. Henderson

That may be, but a good deal has happened since then and we wish to gather all the relevant evidence before we take a decision.