HC Deb 12 October 1915 vol 74 cc1168-9

asked the Attorney-General how many cases arising under the Defence of the Realm Acts have been tried in camera; whether, in all such cases, the names of the persons to be tried and the charges made against them are stated in open Court; and whether, in any cases, counsel for the Crown has asked that books, pamphlets, and newspapers should be confiscated or destroyed by order of a magistrate sitting in secret without the titles of these publications being made known to the public?


I am unable to answer the first part of the question, as it would involve inquiries from Courts of summary jurisdiction all over the country. The answer to the second part of the question is, so far as I can ascertain, in the affirmative, except in the case of trials for espionage, when the names are for obvious reasons withheld. As to the third part of the question, it is in my opinion essential that the titles of the publications referred to should not be made public, and I believe that is the practice.


Will my right hon. Friend consider whether it would not be a good thing to publish an expurgated account of some of the statements contained in these pamphlets so that the public should know the poisonous and treacherous nature of these things which have been destroyed?