§ Mr. MILLS
asked the Home Secretary how many aliens have been in custody, not under sentence, for more than two-months awaiting deportation; and whether he will state, in each case, the date on which the detention began, the offence for which the person has been convicted, his or her nationality, and why deportation has been delayed?
§ Mr. SHORTT
Seven aliens, awaiting deportation have been in custody, not under sentence, for more than two months. Of these, one, a Russian, has had to be kept in custody since 4th February, 1921 (following a sentence for a military 501W offence), as it was undesirable in the public interest that he should be set at liberty in this country, and it has only just become possible to arrange his return to Russia, the Soviet authorities having now accorded the necessary facilities. He will be deported in the course of the next few days. In the remaining six cases, the aliens have been held since various dates in December last. The offences of which they were convicted were, respectively, burglary, unlawful possession of firearms, landing in the United Kingdom without permission, "stowing away," neglect of child, and stealing. Two appear to be of Latvian nationality, one of Lithuanian, and the remaining three claimed American citizenship. Two of them have been refused recognition as Americans, and, as they are of German origin, it is now hoped to obtain facilities for their return to Germany. In all these cases the delay in carrying out deportation is due to the necessity (often involving great difficulty) of obtaining recognition from the countries to which the aliens claim to belong.