Interned Italians' Wives

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Defence – in the House of Commons on 19th November 1942.

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Photo of Mr Daniel Lipson Mr Daniel Lipson , Cheltenham

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that in Italy the wives of interned British subjects are allowed to share their husbands' internment; and will he consider conferring a similar privilege upon the wives of Italians interned in this country, some of whom are British born and are suffering financial hardship?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

No, Sir. My information is that the contrary is the case, and that British husbands and wives interned in Italy are not united in the same camp. In this country the policy is when both husband and wife are interned to allow them to live together in the same internment camp; but I do not think it would be practicable or justifiable for the Government to provide accommodation for women whom it is not necessary in the public interest to intern.

Photo of Mr Daniel Lipson Mr Daniel Lipson , Cheltenham

Is the Minister aware that his answer means, in effect, saying to these women, "If you want to be interned with your husband, you must do something which is disloyal to this country"? Is that sound policy?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

I think that is a very unsound observation. My business is to intern people who, in my judgment, may be a danger to the security of the State, and I think it would be quite wrong to intern people who are not a danger to security.