§ 37. Sir J. BUTCHER
asked whether any steps were taken by the Home Office or by any other Government department to inform the public of the action which, under Section 9 of the Aliens Restriction Act of last year, would have to be taken by members of the public in order to secure the deportation of Germans and other enemy aliens from this country; and, in particular, whether any steps were taken by any Government department to inform the public that, in order to secure such deportation of a German or any other enemy alien, it was necessary for some member of the public to deliver to the Secretary of State before 23rd February, 1920, a charge or statement in writing, signed by a credible person, to the effect that the continued residence in the United Kingdom of the alien in question was, for reasons relating to the alien, undesirable in the public interest and giving particulars of the allegations upon which such reasons were based, and that if such charge was not made and proved no Germans or other enemy aliens would be deported under that section?
§ Mr. SHORTT
Great publicity was given to the Section by the proceedings of both Houses of Parliament and it was quite clear from its terms that any person who knew anything within the meaning of the Section against a former enemy alien might write to the Home Office. If his communication was not precisely in accordance with the Section he would have been told how to make it so, if the facts known to him admitted of it. Further, I issued instructions to all Police Forces that they should facilitate, by any necessary explanation, any representation which any person might wish to make to the Home Office. A circular was issued to the Police asking them to give every assistance, by explaining the Act and otherwise, to any person who wished to bring forward the case of any former enemy alien and reminding them that if 1478 any police officer knew of any case, the facts of which brought it within the Section, he should himself make the application. I also arranged for a notice to appear widely in the newspaper Press to the effect that the time for sending in any such statements expired on the 23rd of the present month.
§ Sir J. BUTCHER
In view of the fact that this Bill was only passed two days before Christmas, will the right hon. Gentleman say where and how often were notices calling the attention of the public to the matter circulated?
§ Mr. SHORTT
The notices were printed and circulated throughout the country. I cannot say how exactly.