Southern Irish Persons

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Defence – in the House of Commons on 22nd October 1942.

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Photo of General Sir George Jeffreys General Sir George Jeffreys , Petersfield

asked the Home Secretary to what extent he exercises powers to expel or intern Southern Irishmen or women who, on an increasing scale, are proclaiming sentiments hostile to this country?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

Defence Regulation 18 (2B) empowers me to direct the return to Ireland, and to provide for the detention pending return, of any person not ordinarily resident in Great Britain at the date on which the Regulation came into force, who has so conducted himself as to render it expedient in the national interest that he should leave Great Britain. Under these powers 33 persons have been returned to Southern Ireland since 1st January, 1942. In addition the police have returned 198 persons for failure to comply with requirements imposed under the Passenger Traffic Order when they were given leave to land in Great Britain. In a small proportion only of these cases was there evidence that the persons concerned had given expression to hostile sentiments.

Photo of General Sir George Jeffreys General Sir George Jeffreys , Petersfield

Is the Minister satisfied that many of these people are not, in fact, exercising influence and doing things which would, in the case of other British subjects, render them liable to detention under 18B?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

I can assure my hon. and gallant Friend that we do our best to keep observation and to take note of anything we hear. In any case where I have reasonable cause to act I send people back. If the hon. and gallant Gentleman has any cases that he would like me to look into, I shall be glad to investigate them.

Photo of Mr George Buchanan Mr George Buchanan , Glasgow Gorbals

Is not the Minister aware that many Southern Irish on farm work, particularly in Scotland, are rendering very valuable service to the community?