HC Deb 07 March 1918 vol 103 cc2111-2
25. Major HUNT

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in view of the fact that Com- mander Sir Edward Nicholl intimated at Newport, Montgomeryshire, that the sinking of the "Glenart Castle" was brought about by aliens in the docks and that there were spies in every port in the Bristol Channel who communicated with German submarines, he will take steps to prevent any alien from entering any docks?


I am not aware of the ground on which the statement reported to have been made by Sir Edward Nicholl is based, but my Department is in communication with the Admiralty on the subject. In the meantime, I may say that enemy aliens are generally excluded altogether from the areas in which docks are situated, and that the admission to the docks is regulated not by my Department, but by the naval and military authorities. Aliens forming part of the crews of Allied or neutral ships cannot be altogether excluded from the docks, but they are not allowed to land unless they come from friendly ports, and then only on conditions which are strictly enforced.

Major HUNT

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that Sir Edward Nicholl stated that he was in a position to know all about this, and that it was true? If it is not true, will the hon. Gentleman have the paper which published it prosecuted?


As I have explained, we are in communication with the Admiralty upon it, and I can add nothing on the subject.