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Detainees (Advisory Committee's Procedure)

Volume 387: debated on Thursday 25 March 1943

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asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that Mr. Esland Echlin, who is still detained at Brixton, asked the chairman of the Advisory Committee at his first interview, on 6th March, 1941, whether he might be confronted with his accusers, question hostile witnesses, call witnesses in his defence, be shown the evidence against him, have the assistance of a lawyer, have access to his own material then in Government possession, know the finding of the committee, or have a right of appeal; that he was refused in each case; that he has since had two interviews with the committee, at which the only restriction relaxed was that affecting his own material; and whether in future detainees may demand as a right the relaxation of any of the other restrictions?

Subject to the re-requirement laid down in Defence Regulation 18B itself, the procedure followed by the Advisory Committee is left to the Committee to determine, and in dealing with the various requests made by Mr. Echlin, the Committee explained their practice and procedure. I am satisfied that the procedure adopted by the Committee affords to a detained person full opportunity to know what is alleged against him and to offer any explanation, and I am not prepared to propose any alteration.