Detainees (Documents)

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Defence – in the House of Commons on 10th September 1942.

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Photo of Mr Irving Albery Mr Irving Albery , Gravesend

asked the Home Secretary whether he can give an assurance that all evidence and records not now disclosed concerning British subjects detained without trial as a war-time measure will be preserved and kept available for any suitable investigation after the war?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

The retention of public documents is governed by Section I of the Public Record Office Act, 1877, and, as regards Home Office documents, by the Schedule submitted to both Houses of Parliament in 1923, as provided by that Section.

Photo of Mr Irving Albery Mr Irving Albery , Gravesend

Is it not clear from the reply that these persons will ultimately have an opportunity of having their case inquired into? Can the right hon. Gentleman say, in two words, what is the meaning of his reply? Will they be available or not?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

The meaning of my reply should be perfectly satisfactory to my hon. Friend. I am giving no undertaking to inquire into the matter at all. As the documents in 18B cases do not appear in the Schedule to which I refer, they must be retained indefinitely, unless a new Schedule is presented to Parliament. So my hon. Friend is well covered.