Oral Answers to Questions — British Subjects, Unoccupied France (Repatriation).

– in the House of Commons on 29th July 1942.

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Photo of Sir Walter Liddall Sir Walter Liddall , Lincoln

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the fact that safe conduct was given Italian ships in which Italians were enabled to return to Italy from Abyssinia, he will endeavour to secure from Italy and Germany similar safe conduct for a ship in which British nationals in unoccupied France may be able to return to the United Kingdom?

Photo of Mr Anthony Eden Mr Anthony Eden , Warwick and Leamington

Arrangements were made some time ago to provide a ship for this purpose, but a safe conduct through the Mediterranean was refused by the German Government. Since then large numbers of British subjects have been repatriated from unoccupied France via Spain and Portugal. Of those who remain, the majority appear to be unwilling, for a variety of reasons, to leave France. Nevertheless, I will bear in mind my hon. Friend's suggestion in case a suitable opportunity occurs for putting it into effect.

Photo of Sir Walter Liddall Sir Walter Liddall , Lincoln

While thanking the right hon. Gentleman for his reply, might I ask whether he is not aware that there are between 300 and 400 elderly Britishers in unoccupied France, the majority of whom are really anxious to get back to their dear ones in this country? Will he do everything possible to see that they are brought back?

Photo of Mr Anthony Eden Mr Anthony Eden , Warwick and Leamington

Certainly, in the case of those who want to be brought back. We have brought back well over 1,000.

Photo of Sir Walter Liddall Sir Walter Liddall , Lincoln

If I furnish the right hon. Gentleman with the names of such people, will he endeavour to get them across?