Released Detainees.

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Defence. – in the House of Commons on 12th February 1942.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Irving Albery Mr Irving Albery , Gravesend

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that per sons released from detention under Regulation 18B, with the endorsement on their identity cards, by order of the Secretary of State, the holder of this card must not be in an aliens protected area, are thereby hindered from obtaining employment; and whether he will take any necessary steps to facilitate the employment of released persons?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

I am fully in agreement with my hon. Friend's view that it is desirable that persons released from detention under Defence Regulation 18B should not be prevented from obtaining suitable employment, and, as I explained in reply to a Question by the hon. Member for Dewsbury (Mr. Riley) on the 4th December, I have arranged for such endorsements to be removed from the identity cards except in a few special cases where the endorsement is required to provide means of securing compliance with the restrictions imposed. It is obviously necessary that the police in an aliens protected area should be able to ascertain by inspection of the identity card whether a person has been prohibited from entering the area, and in the circumstances I regret that it is not possible to dispense with the endorsement of this restriction on the identity card.

Photo of Mr Irving Albery Mr Irving Albery , Gravesend

Are we to understand from the Minister that his Department, in their general method of dealing with these cases, will do what is possible to facilitate such persons obtaining employment?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

The Question on the Paper is about the endorsement of identity cards and I think the answer I have given does show that we are sympathetic about it. No doubt the hon. Gentleman is very keen about this matter. So am I, but I also must be keen about tilt security of the State and I hope he will keep that in mind.

Photo of Mr George Lathan Mr George Lathan , Sheffield Park

Upon whom rests responsibility for deciding whether an endorsement should be made?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

Guidance is issued on the matter by the Home Office. I rather think it would rest with the local police but I am not sure.

Photo of Mr William Shaw Mr William Shaw , Forfarshire

asked the Home Secretary whether any of the information upon which Mr. Ben Greene was arrested and detained was given on oath; whether at the inquiries before the Advisory Committee any information was given on oath and whether Mr. Greene was legally represented; and whether the information and witnesses were subjected to cross-examination?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

In matters affecting national security it is incumbent on the Secretary of State to take appropriate action on information which he believes to be reliable whether or not that information is given on oath. In the case of Mr. Greene the information was obtained from various sources but none of it was given on oath. Mr. Greene's solicitor appeared before the Advisory Committee to make certain representations and give certain information, but it is not the general practice of the Committee to allow persons appearing before them to be represented by counsel or solicitors. Advisory Committees are not courts of law and they are not empowered to administer oaths. The examinations of witnesses are not conducted by advocates for one side or another but by the Committee itself, which has the duty of eliciting all the relevant facts on whichever side they tell, and I am satisfied from reading the transcripts of their proceedings that the Committee spare no pains in subjecting to close and searching examination the in formation submitted to them and the wit nesses who appear before them.

Photo of Mr William Shaw Mr William Shaw , Forfarshire

Does the Minister in his quasi-judicial capacity consider it satisfactory that a British subject should be kept in prison for 19 to 20 months on information which has been proved to be false and which was unsworn? Can he say whether the informer will be prosecuted for perjury under the Regulations and whether the principal informer, who is an enemy alien, has received any payment from the security services?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

I am afraid the hon. and gallant Gentleman has been misled by inaccurate propaganda. I am sure that the premises upon which his Supplementary Question is based are not well founded.

Photo of Mr Frederick Bellenger Mr Frederick Bellenger , Bassetlaw

Where is is established that perjury has been committed by a witness in these circumstances is there any remedy?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

I am not sure that that is an accurate description of what happened—

Photo of Mr Frederick Bellenger Mr Frederick Bellenger , Bassetlaw

I am not suggesting it was. I merely asked a general question.

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

I can assure the House that if, in the course of administration, any imperfections are brought to my notice they are promptly removed.

Photo of Mr William Shaw Mr William Shaw , Forfarshire

Would the Minister grant a public inquiry in this case?