Periodical, "Socialist Appeal."

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Defence. – in the House of Commons on 23rd July 1942.

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Photo of Sir Jocelyn Lucas Sir Jocelyn Lucas , Portsmouth South

asked the Home Secretary (1) why persons known to be actively engaged in frustrating the war effort, like the producers and distributors of a paper called "Socialist Appeal" are not interned under Regulation 18B, whilst many persons who are only suspected of lesser offences or with subversive sympathies are kept in custody;

(2) whether his attention has been called to the continued subversive activities of a paper called "Socialist Appeal "; why this paper is allowed to continue; and whether he will have a copy of all recent editions placed in the Library, so that Members may see to what extent activities subversive of the war effort are still allowed?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

As I explained in the course of the Debate on 21st July, I am not at present satisfied that the circumstances are such as to require action on my part in respect either of this paper or of those responsible for its production and distribution; but a watch is being kept upon their activities, and I shall not hesitate to make use of the powers entrusted to me if I am satisfied that it is necessary to do so in the interests of national security. I cannot accept the comparison which my hon. and gallant Friend seeks to draw in the latter part of the Question.

Photo of Sir Jocelyn Lucas Sir Jocelyn Lucas , Portsmouth South

Has this paper been warned? Also, is it not a fact that the Minister or his predecessor gave instructions that all papers which are not allowed to be exported should be put into the Library of the House, and that this custom was followed until quite recently?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

On the last point, I am not aware of that; but I will certainly look into it. I am not anxious to elevate all these naughty newspapers to a position of dignity in the House of Commons, but I will look into my hon. and gallant Friend's point. With regard to the question of warning, there is no obligation under Regulation 2D—if that were used—to give a warning. I think, in view of statements made in this House on Tuesday and today, that the paper will realise that it is under observation; but I do not propose to give any formal warning.

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

Can the Home Secretary say how much the circulation of this paper has increased since this House took notice of it?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

I am bound to say that I think the value of the advertisements it has been given, not only in this House but by front-page reproductions in the newspapers, must run into five figures.