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East African Territories (Ex-Enemy Internees)

Volume 437: debated on Wednesday 21 May 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if it is proposed to allow 73 ex-enemy internees, who recently returned to the Northern Province, Tanganyika, to resume farming and other work in which they were engaged prior to their internment; and if full consideration has been given to the claims of ex-Servicemen and women of the Northern Province who are seeking to engage in similar activities.

A party of Germans, including women and children, recently arrived in the Northern Province of Tanganyika from Southern Rhodesia where they have been interned. All of them are considered, after careful individual examination of their records, to be unobjectionable politically and otherwise. Only 10 of these people were former residents of the Northern Province; the rest are returning to other parts of Tanganyika. In these circumstances I do not think that their return will adversely affect the interests of ex-Service men and women in the Northern Province or indeed elsewhere in Tanganyika.


asked the Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs it he will make representations to the Southern Rhodesian Government on behalf of German internees from Tanganyika in order to secure temporary sanctuary pending permanent accommodation of decision respecting their future; and whether he is aware that most of these internees are church missionaries and that British religious bodies and organisations desire that these internees shall not he returned to Germany.

These Germans were tormer residents of the East African Territories, mainly Tanganyika. Who were interned during the war and sent to Southern Rhodesia for security reasons. The records of each individual case have been fully examined, and those who are being repatriated are either former members of the Nazi party or persons of known Nazi sympathies, or are considered undesirable residents of British territories in Africa for other reasons. Arrangements were made to defer repatriation in any case in which an application for admission to another country has a genuine prospect of early success. The number involved is, however, small. The remainder are understood to have already sailed. As regards the last part of the Question, I understand that the number of missionaries among those being repatriated to Germany is only a small proportion of the total. Those being repatriated are moreover, persons who fall into the categories referred to above.