Organisations (Activities).

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Defence. – in the House of Commons on 29th May 1941.

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Photo of Sir Geoffrey Mander Sir Geoffrey Mander , Wolverhampton East

asked the Home Secretary whether he will give an assurance that all the following associations, namely, the Free German League of Culture, Free German Youth, Austrian Centre, Council of Austrians in Great Britain, Young Austria, Working Refugee Women, Refugee Teachers' Association and Young Czecho-Slovakia are engaged in relief and welfare work and carry out no political activities contrary to the public interest?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

I am not in a position to give a categorical answer to my hon. Friend's Question, but the activities of these organisations are being watched, and I shall have no hesitation in taking appropriate action should I deem it necessary to do so in the national interest.

Photo of Sir Geoffrey Mander Sir Geoffrey Mander , Wolverhampton East

Has my right hon. Friend any reason to think that up to the present time any of these organisations have been doing anything contrary to the public interest?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

If my hon. Friend will be good enough to put down a Question for the next day when I am answering Questions, I shall hope to be able to give him a more specific reply. At the moment my information is not in such a condition that it would be fair for me to make a more specific statement.

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

Does my right hon. Friend appreciate that when he says these organisations are being watched it creates the impression that they are suspicious organisations, and in view of the association with them of many people in this House and outside of undoubted quality, cannot he give some assurance that meanwhile no suspicion has been justified by the investigation?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

It is part of the duty of the Home Office to keep extensive watch over everybody—organisations and all sorts of people—and I think the House will agree that it is the obvious duty of the Home Office to keep observation on organisations of foreign people.