Detainee (Censored Correspondence).

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Defence. – in the House of Commons on 26th February 1942.

Alert me about debates like this

Commander Bower:

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that on Tuesday, 3rd February, 1942, Mr. C. E. Allchurch, a detainee in Camp M, Isle of Man, was requested to attend the M.I.5. department in order to receive a parcel; that on arrival he was interrogated in an inner room concerning the contents of a letter received by him from the hon. Member for Cleveland, which it was suggested had reached him uncensored; that Mr. Allchurch produced the envelope of the letter bearing the postmark Kendal, Westmorland, 2.30 p.m., 9th December, 1941, the counterfoil of Examiner 6826, and the Metropolitan police receiving stamp, dated Peel, 9th December, 1941; and whether he will cause inquiry to be made into the matter?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

Such inquiries as I have been able to make in the time available indicate that Mr. Allchurch was questioned about a letter which he received from my hon. and gallant Friend dated 8th December last, because the Postal Censor had reported that he could not find any record of this letter having passed through the Censorship, but, as stated, Mr. Allchurch was able to produce evidence that it had.

Commander Bower:

Will my right hon. Friend take some action to ensure that in cases like this, where a Member of Parliament exercises his right to communicate with detainees through the proper channel, no suggestion is made by M.1.5 or any other organisation that improper means of communication are being used?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

It is the case that if a detainee writes to a Member of Parliament his letter is not censored at the camp, but all letters to and from the camps pass through postal censorship. In the case of incoming letters the censors do not know whether they come from a Member of Parliament or not.