HC Deb 14 February 1917 vol 90 cc644-5W

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to a man named Gootman, who has recently been moving about from one hotel to another in or near the Strand in London, who has entered himself as a student of medicine at St. Thomas's Hospital, who habitually dresses in khaki, although not being in any way connected with the British Army, in order to ingratiate himself with British soldiers, who professes to be of Russian extinction and spreads the doctrine that Russia is bound to make a separate peace shortly because of the scarcity of food at the Russian front; and will he make inquiry into this man's credentials as to whether he is or is not really of German extraction and intern him or have him deported to his own country?


This individual came under the notice of my Department and the War Office some months ago in connection with an application for a permit to return to Russia. No evidence that he is of Germain extraction has been obtained, and I have been unable to verify the statement that he habitually dresses in khaki; but I am informed that he admits expressing the views referred to by the hon. Member. I am considering the case with a view to such further action as may be necessary.