29 NOVEMBER 1940, Page 2

Hope for Internees

So far as it goes, Mr. Morrison's statement in the House of Commons on Tuesday regarding the release of interned enemy aliens is satisfactory. Men between 18 and so who do not qualify for release under existing categories will now be able to get out of their internment camps by joining the Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps. This is, of course, equivalent to enforced semi-military service for many men who ought never to have been interned at all. But they will probably be glad enough to make the exchange. The question now is whether the new arrangement is to be put in force without intolerable delay. The impotence of the Home Office even when it pro- fesses good intentions is past belief. Take the case of Mr. F. G. Friedlander, who was elected a Fellow of Trinity after he had been interned and deported to Canada. After publicity given to this distinguished scholar's lot by Prof. A. V. Hill, M.P. (a letter from whom, on another astonishing case, appears in our correspondence columns today) the Home Secretary announced—on October 24th—that a communication " has already been sent " to Canada ordering that Mr. Friedlander should be released and, if he desired, sent back to England. On November 21st, precisely four weeks later, a tutor of Trinity received a cable as follows: " Newspapers report my release no official communication here yet urge transmission of order to Canada Friedlander." It is not surprising that the House of Commons and the public should demand from the Minister of Health about shelters, or the Home Secretary about aliens, something more than suave assurances that proposals have been adopted and action has been taken.