HC Deb 08 March 1948 vol 448 c782
35. Major Tufton Beamish

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that while a number of displaced persons who had been individually screened by I.R.O. were embarking on s.s. "Santa Cruz" at Naples for the Argentine on the:30th December, the Italian police removed a number of these people to a concentration camp at Lipari; what protests His Majesty's Government's representative on I.R.O. has made in this connection; and what steps are contemplated to avoid a recurrence of such unilateral action in defiance of international authority.

The Minister of State (Mr. McNeil)

I understand that the persons concerned were suspected collaborators, and that the action of the Italian authorities in detaining them was, therefore, in accordance with Italy's obligations under Article 45 of the Peace Treaty. As there does not appear to be any reason for believing that the Italian Government have any intention of surrendering these people without proper investigation of the charges made against them, my right hon. Friend does not consider that any protest is called for.

Major Beamish

Can the Minister of State say definitely whether it is the intention of the Italian Government forcibly to repatriate those people or not? Does he know what, in fact, has been the fate of those unfortunate refugees?

Mr. McNeil

My information is that the Italian Government, in conformity with their obligations, will investigate the cases made against those people.