Internees, Australia.

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Defence. – in the House of Commons on 6th August 1942.

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

asked the Home Secretary how many of the interned refugees who were deported to Australia in the Steamship "Dunera," two years ago, have been returned to this country or released in Australia; how many are still in internment; and whether any steps have been taken to improve the situation of the 200 Jewish refugees who have been prevented from returning to this country in consequence of recent restrictions debarring them from passing through the Panama Canal?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

Every effort was made both in this country and by my representative in Australia to overcome the obstacles to the return of approved internees from Australia after the Panama Canal route was closed to them, and I am glad to say that some 360 men are now on their way back. Separate figures for refugees are not available, but of the German internees who were transferred to Australia ovr 1,100, or approximately one half, have returned or are en route to the United Kingdom. According to the last report received from Australia, nearly 500 internees had been released in the Commonwealth and 119 had emigrated to other countries. There are, therefore, now rather less than 600 United Kingdom internees of German nationality in the camps in Australia; some of these are not willing to undertake the voyage back to the United Kingdom, although their release on departure from Australia has been authorised.