HC Deb 23 January 1941 vol 368 cc280-2
18. Mr. Stokes

asked the Home Secretary in how many of the 1,238 appeals heard by the Advisory Committee, continued detention under Regulation 18B has been recommended; and in how many cases, where release was recommended, no decision had been taken on 19th December, 1940?

Mr. H. Morrison

As my hon. Friend is aware, certain particulars of the action taken under this Regulation are given in the reports submitted monthly to Parliament. To obtain the additional particulars for which he asks would involve the expenditure of considerable time and would interfere with the urgent work of dealing with the recommendations of the Committees, and I hope therefore that I shall not be pressed for this information. As my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State indicated in answer to a Question yesterday, rapid progress is being made in the review of these cases and already over 600 persons have been released from detention.

Mr. Stokes

Are we to understand that there is now no delay in arriving at a decision once a recommendation has been received from the Advisory Committee?

Mr. Morrison

I most certainly say that there is no unreasonable delay. It all depends upon what the hon. Member means by "no delay." He and I may differ about that, but there is no unreasonable delay.

Mr. McGovern

Can the Minister state the number of cases in which recommendations have been made for release and release has been opposed by the Home Office?

Mr. Morrison

That is contained in my report to the House. There have been a certain number of cases in which the Committee has recommended release and I have disagreed.

20. Mr. Rhys Davies

asked the Home Secretary whether he will arrange that every person arrested under Regulation 18B shall receive particulars of the charge against him in writing within 24 hours of his arrest; that he should be brought before the tribunal within 28 days; that he shall have the right to be legally represented; and that, where he has no means, he shall be afforded legal assistance and representation at the hearing?

Mr. Morrison

A person detained under Regulation 18B as a preventive measure is not charged with any specific offence, but he is furnished at the time of his arrest with a copy of the Detention Order which specifies upon which of the grounds mentioned in the Regulation his detention has been ordered. As regards the second part of the Question, I am in full sympathy with my hon. Friend's desire that there shall be no avoidable delay in the hearing of objections: the several Advisory Committees have nearly completed the hearing of the cases at present under detention, and I hope that in future it will be possible for the interval between the date of the lodging of objections against the order of detention and of the hearing to approximate more closely to the period suggested in the Question. This must, however, necessarily depend upon the number and character of the cases to be heard. As regards the third part of the Question, I dealt with the subject of legal representation at some length in the course of the Debate on 10th December. I have carefully reconsidered the matter since then, but I have seen no reason to modify the views which I then expressed.

Mr. Lipson

Would it be possible for my right lion. Friend to publish or present to the House in any other way one or two specimen copies, omitting names, of detention orders, giving some indication of the type of information which is given?

Mr. Morrison

I will consider that suggestion.

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