HC Deb 15 November 1939 vol 353 cc693-4
26. Mr. Creech Jones

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies for what length of time it is proposed to deprive Wallace Johnson of his liberty; and what are the conditions of his life in his detention?

Mr. M. MacDonald

The period during which the detention order is to remain in force is a matter for the Governor's discretion. Mr. Johnson is detained in the detention camp in Sierra Leone where he is subject to the same rules and regulations as interned enemy subjects from whom however he is separately housed. Arrangements have been made for him to receive the same rations or other food supplied by his friends if he wishes.

Mr. Creech Jones

Does that mean that he is likely to be deprived of the opportunity of receiving books, for instance? What is the general standard of living in the camp?

Mr. MacDonald

I am asking for information on the matter. I could not answer without notice.

Mr. Paling

Is it proposed to detain Johnson until he is convinced that this is a war for liberty?

Mr. Sorensen

Can the right hon. Gentleman give us the reason for the indefinite detention of this man?

Mr. MacDonald

I cannot add to the statement I have already made.

Mr. Maxton

Did the right hon. Gentleman say that this man is detained in a camp used for enemy aliens?

Mr. MacDonald

He is in the same camp, but is separately housed.

Mr. Maxton

Does that make a distinction in the mind of the community in which the camp is situated?

Mr. MacDonald

I think the distinction between the houses has been drawn deliberately.

Mr. Shinwell

Why does not the right hon. Gentleman be frank about this affair?