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Volume 380: debated on Wednesday 17 June 1942

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is prepared to disclose, if necessary in Secret Session, the reasons which have guided him in refusing to accept the recommendations of his Advisory Committee in regard to the release of British subjects interned under Regulation 18B?

No, Sir, my right hon. Friend could not undertake to disclose even in Secret Session the reason why he has felt unable in the interests of national security to adopt the Committee's recommendation that a particular individual should be released. As my right hon. Friend has explained in the course of Debate on Defence Regulation 18B, in the cases where he has differed from the Committee it has not been on questions of fact but on the question whether, accepting the Committee's view of the facts, the interests of national security require that the individual concerned should continue to be detained.


asked the Home Secretary what useful, profitable or educational duties are open to persons interned under Regulation 18B?

I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to my right hon. Friend's replies on nth June to the hon. Member for the Combined English Universities (Mr. E. Harvey) and to himself. As regards educational facilities, there is a sufficient supply of educational books both in prisons and in the Camp at Peel, and, in addition to the Camp Reading Room at Peel, a separate house has been set apart for classes and study.

Does my hon. Friend think that it is right or justifiable in these days that any able-bodied people should not be suitably employed on war or other useful work?

I think that feeling in the House would certainly be strongly against subjecting detainees to compulsory labour.

Does not my hon. Friend think that it would be inequitable if there were no differentiation between the position of detainees who have not been tried and prisoners who have been tried by the ocurts?

Yes, Sir. That is one of the reasons why these people are not compelled to go to work.