Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

British Local Councils Bar Aliens from Defense Services

June 9, 1940
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A heated debate on alien influence preceded a decision taken yesterday by the Southgate Borough Council to dismiss from the Civil Defense Service all aliens and even naturalized Britons who were formerly subjects of an enemy nation. The civil defense committee proposed dismissal of only enemy aliens, but one councilman insisted that all aliens, including “camouflaged Americans,” should be dismissed.”

The anti-alien attacks were countered by other councilmen who pointed out that Major Vidkun Quisling, Norwegian traitor was not an alien and that there was much graver danger among some British subjects than among aliens, many of whom had suffered. the horrors of concentration camps and were now anxious to show their gratitude for the sanctuary given by England by offering their unpaid services.

Many local councils have recently similarly dismissed alien volunteers from civil defense units.

Meanwhile, a complaint that the racial issue has been completely ignored in dealing with “enemy aliens” is voiced in a letter from a refugee published in the periodical Time and Tide.

“The public at large,” the letter states, “when hearing of ‘refugees’ and ‘enemy aliens’ does not always realize most of the refugees from Germany and Austria are people of Jewish blood, expelled on racial grounds. Now let any true Briton try and enter into the feeling of such a person: He has been arrested, imprisoned, maltreated, robbed, turned out of his is house and native country. He has been persecuted in many ways, no matter what his personal record, moral standard and services rendered to his fellow citizens in the country had been. Could that not be enough to imbue any man with a sound, natural hatred against National Socialism and its regime? It is a paradox to suspect a man of aiding and abetting his deadly enemy.”

Recommended from JTA