HC Deb 01 May 1918 vol 105 cc1543-4
62. Major DAVIES

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to the fact that E. D. Morel, lately convicted on his own evidence of offences against the Defence of the Realm Regulations, has now joined the Independent Labour Party; whether he is conducting a pro-German propaganda in the country; and whether he proposes to take any steps in the matter?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir George Cave)

I have no information to the effect stated in the first two parts of the question. If this person should again contravene the Defence of the Realm Regulations proceedings would at once be taken against him.


Is it not a fact that the only charge that can be made against Mr. Morel was that of accepting the offer made by the niece of the Foreign Secretary to send one of his books, and does he not think that the hon. and gallant Member at this moment might be better employed than in bringing insinuations against a braver man than himself?


I made no insinuations of any kind. I cannot accept the hon. Member's statement as to the nature of the offence, and I do not think it is desirable that I should go into it.


asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that the police have entered the business premises of Mr. S. H. Street, printer, Mitcham Lane, Streatham, have dismantled all his printing machines, injuring beyond repair one press worth between £40 and £50; whether he knows that the police produced no warrant for these proceedings, and ultimately departed after locking the door and taking away the key; whether he can state under what Regulation the police are allowed to destroy a man's property on the premises and to lock out the man from his own premises; whether the police held an order from a justice of the peace requiring the premises to be closed; if so, why this order was not produced; and for what purpose and under whose instructions these proceedings were taken?


The action referred to in this question was taken by the police under No. 51 of the Defence of the Realm Regulations in connection with the printing of a newspaper called the "Tribunal," and I have no reason to believe that they exceeded their powers. A portion of one machine was accidentally damaged, but I am informed that the damage is very slight. As regards the key, Mr. Street himself handed it to the police officers, saying that he was going away and that he would be obliged if they would lock the place up. When the removal was completed the key was handed back to Mr. Street. There was no necessity for an order from a justice of the peace.