HL Deb 17 July 1940 vol 116 cc992-3

3.30 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to ask the second question standing in my name.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask His Majesty's Government whether they can give an assurance that those refugees and other aliens now in this country whose integrity and loyalty can be satisfactorily established will be afforded an opportunity of volunteering for active service against the enemy; and whether they do not consider that in view of their knowledge of the language, people and topography of particular areas in Europe, their services, after a period of training, would be invaluable to the Allied cause.]


My Lords, the answer to the first part of the noble Lord's question is in the affirmative, with the qualification that for the present enemy aliens are restricted to service in the Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps. The noble Lord will also appreciate that it is essential that available arms as they come forward should go first to the expanding Regular Army and to the ever-growing L.D.V. With regard to the second part of the question, the Government are fully alive to the potential value of those possessing knowledge of certain areas in Europe.


My Lords, arising out of that answer I should like to ask my noble friend whether some specific training will be allocated to the category referred to in the last part of my question.


My Lords, the answer to the noble Lord is that, as he is probably aware, a considerable number of men in this category has already been trained and successfully used with the British Ex- peditionary Force; and, subject to what I have said, it is the policy of the Government to consider further possibilities of using such men for training.