HC Deb 21 March 1940 vol 358 cc2138-9W
Captain Ramsay

asked the Home Secretary (1) how many British-born persons arrested under Section 18Bof the Emergency Powers Act are still in prison; how many of them are Communists or Marxists; and how many are identified with anti-Semitic activities;

(2) how many British-born persons arrested under Section 18B have now been in prison for six months without having had any proper trial, legal assistance, or witnesses called in their defence;

(3) whether, in reviewing the cases of British subjects imprisoned under Section 18B, evidence other than that for the prosecution is asked for and considered?

Sir J. Anderson

The number of British subjects detained on security grounds under Defence Regulation 18B is 40, of whom 23 are of enemy origin and four of alien, but not enemy, origin. Among the 40 are 13 who have been detained for six months or upwards, six of these being persons of enemy origin and one of alien, but not enemy, origin. As I have explained on previous occasions, any person detained under this regulation has a right to make objections to the Advisory Committee. The proceedings before the committee are not in the nature of a prosecution and the committee has a complete discretion as to its procedure and can, and does, call whatever witnesses it thinks can give information which will assist it in the examination of a case. I am not concerned with the political opinions of persons so detained and I am therefore unable to supply information on this point.