HC Deb 20 January 1944 vol 396 cc354-5
42. Mr. Donald Scott

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if his attention has been drawn to the publication printed and published by the Strickland Press of Glasgow, called "It might have Happened to You," which contains serious allegations against the police and others concerned with the arrest and detention of persons detained under Regulation 18B; and what action he intends to take against the authors and printers of this publication.

Mr. H. Morrison

Yes, Sir, I have seen this publication. It is a hotch-potch of complaints against Defence Regulation 18B and its administration which professes to be factual in its criticisms but is in fact a polemic made up of contributions by anonymous persons who have been, or are still, detained under this Regulation. I have neither the wish nor the power to suppress criticism, however misleading or malicious, which is not a danger to this country or its cause, and no action appears to be called for on my part.

Mr. Maclean

Do the Home Secretary's powers allow him to take action in Scotland or does that come within the purview of the Scottish Law Officers?

Mr. Morrison

Under Defence Regulation 18B I am generally responsible for the whole of Great Britain, although the Secretary of State for Scotland does sometimes act.

Major Manningham-Buller

Has the right hon. Gentleman drawn the attention of the Paper Controller to the enormous quantity of paper used in the publication of this pamphlet?

Mr. Morrison

That is a Question which should be addressed to the Minister of Supply.

Mr. McGovern

Can the right hon. Gentleman state that in this document, which I have read, there are any lies? Is it not true that people who have been imprisoned or interned are much better able to judge the truth of the allegations than is the Home Secretary?