HC Deb 16 October 1941 vol 374 cc1478-9
28. Commander Bower

asked the Home Secretary having regard to his decision that the British Communist Party are not loyal to this country, how many members of this party are now detained under Regulation 18B?

Mr. H. Morrison

No persons are detained under Defence Regulation I8B merely on the ground of membership of the British Communist Party.

Commander Bower

Since my right hon. Friend has decided—in my view, rightly—not to intern these people, whose loyalty he publicly impugned, will he now, in the fair and just exercise of his quasi-judicial powers, release such internees against whom there is no evidence of actual, and very slender presumption of potential, treachery?

Mr. Morrison

No, Sir. I presume that the hon. and gallant Gentleman refers to Members of the former British Union of Fascists.

Commander Bower

No, Sir.

Hon. Members

To Communists.

Mr. Morrison

There are no Communists interned. No British subjects who are Communists are interned as such.

Mr. Gallacher

Is it not the case that the Minister has not "decided," but has merely expressed a foolish opinion?

Mr. Morrison

Whether it is foolish or not is a matter of opinion.

Sir Irving Albery

Are any members of the British Union interned merely because they were members of the British Union?

36. Mr. Wedgwood

asked the Home Secretary whether, in view of certain changes in the relations between this country and Russia, he will now permit the release from internment of the three Communist ex-members of the German Reichstag?

Mr. Morrison

I have decided to authorise the release of one of the men referred to. Another case has been referred to the Category 19 Tribunal, whose report I am awaiting. The third man is in Canada, and I have given authority for his return to this country, if he is willing, with a view to the reference of his case to the Tribunal.

Mr. Wedgwood

Will their passports be marked "friendly alien"?

Major-General Sir Alfred Knox

Is there not more worry about one internee than about 99 just Englishmen?

Forward to