HC Deb 28 November 1944 vol 404 cc2384-5
32. Mr. Norman Bower

asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that women are being continually molested after dark by Italian co-operators camped at Rayners Lane, Pinner; and if he will issue instructions to the camp commandant that these men are not to be allowed outside the camp after dark.

Sir J. Grigg

Seventeen hundred Italian co-operators have been accommodated in this camp for nearly six weeks, and only a very few complaints of this nature have been made, either to the police or to the camp commandant. I do not consider that this justifies the withdrawal from all these co-operators of the privilege to exercise outside their camp until 10 p.m.

Mr. Bower

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there are very many complaints about this sort of thing, that it is causing great anxiety and indignation in the neighbourhood, and that complaints to the camp commandant appear to be utterly ineffective?

Sir J. Grigg

My information is not in accord with that of the hon. Member. There have been a few complaints to the police. I may be a little out of date, but when I last heard there had not been a single complaint to the camp commandant.

Sir Reginald Blair

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the hon. Member who represents the constituency in which Rayners Lane is situated has not received a single complaint, and that from his own personal investigations and other inquiries he believes that the behaviour of these Italian co-operators is very good indeed?

Mr. Ivor Thomas

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this campaign against Italian co-operators bears many of the marks of the anti-Semitic campaign in Germany? Will he also bear in mind the words of the Foreign Secretary a few years ago that there is no such word as "vendetta" in the English language?