HC Deb 02 March 1944 vol 397 cc1557-8
16. Mr. Mander

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department the reasons why Robin Pinchard, former member of the British Union of Fascists, who was sentenced on 23rd February at Bristol assizes to five years penal servitude for damaging 15 telephones and conspiring to damage others, had previously been released from detention under Regulation 18B after six months.

Mr. H. Morrison

This man was detained under Defence Regulation 18B in January, 1942, on the ground that he had been a member of and active in the furtherance of the objects of the organisation formerly known as British Union, and that it was necessary to exercise control over him. He was heard by the Advisory Committee, and, after consideration of their report and a careful review of all the circumstances of his case, I came to the conclusion in July, 1942, that it was no longer necessary to exercise control over him by detention. I accordingly authorised his release on conditions, with a view to his taking up useful work.

Mr. Mander

Is it not clear from the evidence that this was a political crime, committed to assist the enemy and to endanger the cause of this country?

Mr. Morrison

I think it bears that interpretation—I do not think that is unfair. On the other hand, it may be explainable by the fact that this is a peculiar type of person, who likes to do naughty things to call attention to himself.

Miss Rathbone

Is my right hon. Friend aware that a great number of men, of friendly nationality or status, have been interned for years in the Isle of Man, not for any suspicion of enemy sympathy, but because they have—

Mr. Speaker

That is a general question, which has nothing to do with this matter.

Miss Rathbone

May I call attention to the fact that this is a question as to how far it is legitimate to detain this man in the Isle of Man because—

Mr. Speaker