8 SEPTEMBER 1939, Page 3

The Lot of Refugees

The statement made by Sir John Anderson in the House of Commons on Monday regarding the treatment of refugees will be generally welcomed. The two cardinal facts regarding them are that with hardly an exception, if any exception at all, they arc bitterly hostile to the Nazi regime which has been the cause of their exile from their h )mes; but that, nevertheless, the existence of a mass of German-speaking aliens in Great Britain presents a golden opportunity to the Nazi espionage system. For that reason measures apparently drastic, possibly involving actual detention, must be taken . at first. But it is clear that the Government is prepared to accord full freedom to refugees whose bona fides can be vouched for, as it can in most cases by the refugee committees. Particularly welcome is the assurance by the Home Secretary that former citizens of Czecho-Slovakia will not rank as aliens. It comes as an appropriate commentary on Dr. Benes' declaration pledging the efforts of all Czechs and Slovaks to the Allied cause—an action which in the light of the history of the last twelve months calls for special appreciation. All the refugees, German, Austrian and Czech, can render valuable service in this country, France and Poland, both in industry and in the defence forces. More than one Czech legion is likely to be created in different countries.