HC Deb 29 July 1919 vol 118 cc1922-3
44. Mr. HOGGE

asked the Home Secretary whether the charge against Mr. de Laszlo brought forward by the Crown at the recent hearing before the Naturalisation Certificate Revocation Committee, presided over by Mr. Justice Salter, were the same charges as were brought before the Committee appointed to deal with cases arising out of Order 14 b of the Defence of the Realm Act, presided over by Mr. Justice Sankey, or whether other allegations in addition were made by the Crown against Mr. de Laszlo when his case was considered by Mr. Justice Sankey's Committee; and, if so, whether he will state what those allegations were and why the case against Mr. de Laszlo was not presented in the same manner to both Committees?


As explained at the conclusion of the de Laszlo case by Mr. Justice Salter, the questions with which the Committee over which he presided had to deal were entirely different from those dealt with by the Committee presided over by Mr. Justice Sankey. The case, therefore, against Mr. de Laszlo did not assume precisely the same form before the two Committees. The Reports of Mr. Justice Sankey's Committee on the evidence and proceedings before them were laid before the Committee presided over by Mr. Justice Salter. The findings of Mr. Justice Salter's Committee as to the revocation of the certificate of naturalisation in no way conflict with the advice as to internment tendered by the Committee presided over by Mr. Justice Sankey.


If Mr. de Laszlo was acquitted by one Committee as being practically guiltless, and therefore eligible for British citizenship, why was he interned by the other?


Because the two questions are totally different. In the case of internment it is a question whether it is necessary on any ground of suspicion for the safety of the country. You can run no risks. In the other you go into the whole of the facts and thrash them out.