In view of the fact, which the right hon. Gentleman has just stated, that it was impracticable to bring these charges, how can he explain that statement when the charges have definitely been withdrawn?
The question of whether a prosecution can properly be taken is considered in all these cases, and on balance it was decided that proceedings should not be taken. I cannot say any more about the matter because it would not be in the public interest to go into details.
asked the Home Secretary what arrangements are in force for the maintenance and support of the families of British subjects detained under Regulation 18B?
Does my right hon. Friend realise that great hardship is suffered by decent women and children who do not want to go through the unhappy procedure of applying for relief and have no responsibility whatever for the ill-doings of their husbands or relatives who are interned?
That is one of the unfortunate incidents associated with all forms of detention or imprisonment, and I do not think His Majesty's Government could take the responsibility of providing compensation for the families of detained persons. As I have said, they have the same rights as all other citizens to take advantage of the arrangements for the relief of distress.
As I previously informed my hon. Friend, Mr. Greene was not detained on the evidence of a single person, and I cannot accept the implication suggested in his Question. When information reaches the Home Secretary which he believes to be reliable, he would be failing in his duty if he did not take appropriate action in the interest of national security and order detention if he is satisfied that it is necessary so to do. Any person so detained has a right to make objections to the Advisory Committee. It after their investigation the Advisory Committee find, as occurred in Mr. Greene's case, that any particular allegation is not substantiated, it does not follow either that such allegation was a malicious invention or that the original order of detention was unjustified. All cases of persons detained under this Regulation are kept under review, and I need not assure the House that I have constantly in mind the need of taking the greatest care in the exercise of the onerous responsibility placed on the Home Secretary by this Regulation.
May I ask my right hon. Friend whether it is not the fact that the evidence of the single witness against this man was admitted to be false by the man himself; and would not unfortunate detentions of this kind be avoided in the future if persons detained were told the names of the persons who give evidence when they are not members of the security police?
I dare say that it would be convenient to a lot of people to be told everything about everybody, but it would not be expedient for the security of the country. I beg the House to realise that the administration of this Regulation is a matter of difficulty and delicacy, and we try to learn as we go along from any difficulties which arise. I cannot be put in the position of having to answer the same question a whole series of times when I have already assured the House that Mr. Greene might have been detained independently of these allegations.
Arising out of the somewhat detailed statement which the right hon. Gentleman has just made, can he inform the House what means exist by which a person who has been wrongfully detained can show that to be the case?
I beg to give notice that, in view of the completely unsatisfactory situation and the public indignation which has been aroused, I shall raise this matter on the Adjournment.