HC Deb 11 June 1940 vol 361 cc1124-5
41. Sir G. Broadbridge

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether it is intended to publish regularly the names of all persons, irrespective of their position, who are for the purposes of home security, detained or interned?

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

There is, of course, no desire to conceal the identity of individuals because they are persons of position. Indeed if a person detained is in any way prominent or notorious, this fact ensures that some publicity will be given to his case. But there would, I think, be no advantage in publishing the names of all those detained under Defence Regulation 18B. Amongst them are persons of hostile origin or association whose cases may be very similar to those of persons of enemy nationality who have been interned under the Prerogative, and it would be impracticable to publish the names of the 10,000 persons interned as enemy aliens.

Captain Sir William Brass

Why would it be impossible to publish 10,000 names? Would it not be as well to let the public know who these people are, because they may have some friends associated with them and the result might be that they should also be interned?

Mr. Peake

Of course, persons can communicate with their friends, so that there is no question of anybody being detained without other persons being aware of the circumstances. As for publishing the names of all the internees, waste of paper is a consideration at the present time and it would involve considerable expenditure.

Sir W. Brass

My hon. Friend has missed my point. The point is that if these names are published the friends of these people will be known and it is possible that some others will have to be interned as well.

Mr. Peake

I can assure my hon. and gallant Friend that the friends of these persons are, of course, known to the authorities.

Sir W. Brass

But are they?

Colonel Nathan

If publication is made, can steps be taken to differentiate between those who are detained under Defence Regulation 18B and those who are interned under the Prerogative? The difference is vital.

Mr. Peake

The differentiation is not so easy to draw, because we have interned under Regulation 18B many people who are of hostile origin or association, but happened to possess either British or neutral nationality.

Lieut.-Colonel Acland-Troyte

Are their letters censored?

Mr. Peake

Yes, certainly.

Sir J. Lamb

Where a man can afford to pay for his maintenance will he be made to do so? There is a strong feeling in the country that he should do so.

Mr. Peake

I do not think that arises on this Question.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

Are visits censored?

Mr. Peake

So far as 18B cases are concerned, that certainly is the rule.

Mr. A. Reed

Is it possible for a Member to find out who has been detained in his constituency?

Mr. Peake

I expect a Member would hear about that in the ordinary course.

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