HC Deb 01 August 1940 vol 363 cc1408-10W
Mr. Wedgwood

asked the Home Secretary whether it is possible to secure the release from internment of Otto Rothbaum under any category, in view of the fact that he was an Austrian officer in the last war, and wishes to fight for the cause of freedom in this war?

Sir J. Anderson

In accordance with the undertaking given by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State in the course of the Debate on 10th July, I have already authorised this man's release.

Dr. Little

asked the Home Secretary whether he will consider releasing from internment the Rev. Dr. Michael Casella, an Italian, who, until recently, was curate of St. John's Church, Laganbank, Belfast, and who has been interned, since he is of proved loyalty to Britain and some months ago when he applied for naturalisation papers was vouched for by the Primate of all Ireland and the Bishop of Down, Connor and Dromore?

Sir J. Anderson

I am making certain inquiries about this case and will communicate with my hon. Friend as soon as my inquiries are complete.

Mr. C. Wilson

asked the Home Secretary whether persons detained under Regulation 18B are permitted other books than those in the prison library, and, if so, whether there is any restriction as to the subjects; and whether, if a detenu desires to spend much of his time in writing, there is any prison limit to the materials he may use provided he supplies them himself?

Sir J. Anderson

Persons detained under Regulation 18B are allowed to receive books, other than those in the prison library, unless the books are of a type clearly unsuitable for general circulation among the persons so detained. Notebooks and other materials for literary work are allowed in individual cases where sanction is given for their use for this purpose.

Mr. R. Gibson

asked the Home Secretary whether he will take steps to secure that Italians who fought against Germany in the last war, were prisoners of war in Germany then, have since been resident in Britain, and have married British women before Italy entered the present war, have put all their savings into war savings certificates, and have identified themselves with the interests of this country, will be released from internment; and when he proposes to release Pietro Loni, 106, Lyncdoch Street, Greenock, who fulfils these conditions and is medically unfit?

Sir J. Anderson

As I stated in the House on 23rd July the arrangements for dealing with applications for the release of Germans and Austrians will extend so far as applicable to Italians. As regards the Italian mentioned in the second part of the Question, I am making immediate inquiries into the state of his health in internment.

Mr. Shinwell

asked the Home Secretary whether he can make a statement on the conditions of the internees in Pentonville prison?

Sir J. Anderson

I have been glad to comply with a request by my hon. Friend that he should visit the prison to see the conditions for himself.

Mr. White

asked the Home Secretary whether he can make a statement with regard to the progress of the review of interned aliens' cases?

Sir J. Anderson

The review of cases falling within the categories set out in the White Paper published yesterday is proceeding as rapidly as possible, but it is too early yet to make any detailed statement.

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