HC Deb 06 August 1940 vol 363 cc23-4
38. Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has now declared illegal all organisations and societies whose activities are calculated to undermine the national effort and will to victory?

The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Peake)

I presume my hon. and gallant Friend refers to the exercise of powers conferred on my right hon. Friend by Defence Regulation 18AA. My right hon. Friend has already made an order applying that Regulation to one organisation, and he will not hesitate to use the power in respect of any other organisation if he is satisfied that the conditions precedent Lave been fulfilled.

41. Mr. Thurtle

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that ex-military officers of high rank of known Fascist sympathies are in a special degree a potential menace to national security; and whether he is keeping under observation the activities of such officers?

Mr. Peake

The hon. Member will not expect me to give particulars as to the persons whose activities are being kept under observation. If, however, he has any individual cases in mind and is in a position to give me information, I shall be very glad to receive it.

Mr. Thurtle

May I take it that the hon. Gentlemen means that even if a man is of such rank as ex-major-general, the Department will still be prepared to investigate his activities?

Mr. Peake

Most certainly, but, of course, I can hardly assent to the proposition in the Question that ex-military officers as such constitute a special danger.

Mr. Thurtle

If their record shows that they have had Fascist affiliations and sympathies, does not that alter the case?

Mr. Peake

I have asked the hon. Gentleman to furnish me with any information which he has at his disposal, and I shall be very glad to have it.

Sir H. Williams

Does the hon. Gentleman agree with me that some of these ex-military officers are a considerable danger when they will insist on joining the Local Defence Volunteers?