HC Deb 19 June 1941 vol 372 cc800-1
29. Mr. Mander

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is now able to give an assurance that all the following associations, namely, the Free German League of Culture, Free German Youth, Austrian Centre, Council of Austrians in Great Britain, Young Austria, Working Refugee Women, Refugee Teachers' Association and Young Czechoslovakia, are engaged in relief and welfare work and carry out no political activities contrary to the public interest?

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Herbert Morrison)

While the main objects of these organisations are cultural and benevolent, and many of the members and supporters who are interested in these objects are entirely innocent of any ulterior purpose, my information indicates that in each of these organisations Communists are to a greater or lesser extent exercising or trying to exercise an influence, in pursuance of their common practice of infiltrating reputable organisations for the purpose of furthering their political aims.

Mr. Sorensen

Would not the same thing apply also to some trade unions, and as my right hon. Friend does not condemn trade unions because there are Communists in them, why should he make any kind of implied condemnation of these organisations in which there may be a few Communists but whose main work is of a cultural nature?