HC Deb 31 July 1941 vol 373 cc1509-10
12. Mr. Mander

asked the Home Secretary whether he will publish the list of members of the Right Club in possession of the Home Office; and what supervision is now exercised by his Department?

Mr. H. Morrison

No, Sir. I do not think it would be in the public interest to publish the names of the members of this organisation, or to state what steps have been taken from the point of view of national security. Appropriate steps are taken to watch all kinds of people about whom there may be grounds for suspicion. About many members of the Right Club there are no grounds of suspicion, and about many people who were not members of the Right Club there are grounds of suspicion. To publish the names of people who are being watched would be most unwise: to publish the names of people who are not being watched would be unfair. Secrecy is the essence of any system of supervision.

Mr. Mander

In view of the fact that it has been stated that a number of distinguished persons, including Members of this House, belong to this rather remarkable organisation, does not the right hon. Gentleman think it would be in the public interest for everyone to know who belongs to it?

Mr. Morrison

I think it would be very interesting, but there is much interesting information in the Home Office which we really must keep to ourselves.

Mr. Shinwell

As regards the allegation that several hon. Members belong to this questionable organisation, will my right hon. Friend give an assurance that this is not so, or, if they have belonged to it, that they have resigned?

Mr. Morrison

No, Sir.

Mr. Shinwell

Does that mean that my right hon. Friend does not wish to give such an assurance or that there are no hon. Members belonging to this organisation?

Mr. Morrison

It does not mean either of those things. It means that I do not propose to give any indication of what names there are, or are not, on this list.

Viscountess Astor

What is the difference between the Right and the Left?