HC Deb 20 November 1917 vol 99 cc1006-7
42. Mr. R. LAMBERT

asked the Home Secretary whether the offices of the Women's International League have been raided; what is the charge or suspicion against this organisation; and whether any Police Court proceedings will be taken?

43. Mr. KING

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that on 14th November a police raid was effected on the suffrage shop in Duke Street, Adelphi; whether the advocacy of adult suffrage or other reasons placed this institution under suspicion; whether anything criminal was found on the premises; and whether legal proceedings will follow?

44. Mr. R. LAMBERT

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that on 14th November a raid was carried out on 5, York Buildings, Adelphi, the office of the No-Conscription Fellowship; whether it is intended to make the objects for which this fellowship has existed, not hitherto illegal, into illegal objects; and, if not, why this raid was carried out against a body which has always been open and unwavering in its aims and methods?


These offices were searched by the police on the dates mentioned, on warrants issued by the competent military authority, under No. 51 of the Defence of the Realm Regulations. A quantity of literature was seized, and is now being examined. The question of prosecution will be for the Attorney-General.


How long does it take to examine this literature, seeing that the raid, was made over a week ago?


It takes some time.


Is it not a fact that there are only a few leaflets, but a large number of similar leaflets? Do they read every individual leaflet?


Does not the fact that the Home Secretary is making these raids, and seizing thousands of leaflets, and very seldom following up by prosecution, show that these leaflets are quite legal, and that the right hon. Gentleman is afraid of testing his action before a Court of law?


By no means. As a matter of fact, there are cases where seizure is more effective than prosecution by preventing circulation.