Steamship "dunera" (Internees).

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army. – in the House of Commons on 3rd February 1942.

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Photo of Mr Thomas Harvey Mr Thomas Harvey , Combined English Universities

asked the Secretary of State for War whether the memorandum submitted to the High Commissioner for the United Kingdom in Australia in December, 1940, on behalf of the refugee internees transported to Australia on the ss. "Dunera" has been made the subject of inquiry by the War Office; and, if so, with what result?

Photo of Mr David Margesson Mr David Margesson , Rugby

The memorandum referred to by my hon. Friend was considered by the War Office as soon as it was received, and as a result a court of inquiry was set up to inquire into the conduct of military personnel on board the "Dunera". As a result of the report of this court of inquiry three courts-martial were held of which I gave full details in the Reply to my right hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Mr. Wedgwood) and my hon. Friend the Member for English Universities (Mr. Harvey) on 5th August, 1941.

Photo of Mr Thomas Harvey Mr Thomas Harvey , Combined English Universities

Was not the inquiry held when none of the people most concerned were in this country, and is it not a fact that a great number of them have returned?

Photo of Mr David Margesson Mr David Margesson , Rugby

The court of inquiry was held, and the court-martial was the result.

Photo of Miss Eleanor Rathbone Miss Eleanor Rathbone , Combined English Universities

Is it possible to have a satisfactory inquiry without witnesses, when all available information can be taken into consideration?